26th Annual Harvest For Hunger Campaign Sets New Record

26th Annual Harvest For Hunger Campaign Sets New Record

  • 6/14/2017 1:48:03 PM
  • Jay Jackman
  • Local News

CLEVELAND, OH - Harvest for Hunger Co-Chairs Joe DiRocco, President, Fifth Third Bank and Karen Dolan, Cleveland Indians, thanked donors for their contributions to this year’s Harvest for Hunger community-wide food and funds drive at the recognition event Wednesday.

Kristin Warzocha, Food Bank President & CEO also spoke at the event to thank supporters.

The campaign set a new record, collecting over $5.2 million and 300,000 lbs. of food to provide 21 million nutritious meals for local food pantries and hot meal sites.

Harvest for Hunger is one of the largest annual, community-wide food and funds drives in the nation covering 21-counties. Other participating food banks include the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.

Nearly 600 companies, schools, nonprofits and governmental entities in Northeast Ohio participated by running food and fund drives this year, raising over $1.5 million.

In addition, Check Out Hunger, a cashier-led fundraising effort in grocery stores across the region during March raised over $1.5 million. Buehler’s, Fisher Foods, Giant Eagle, Heinen’s, and Dave’s collected gifts from customers at their cash registers for the Harvest for Hunger campaign.

“At our food bank, and at food banks throughout our state, we are serving more clients now than we were before the recession – more than 250,000 clients a year,” said Kristin Warzocha. “That is why Harvest for Hunger is so important, where every dollar donated can provide four nutritious meals. This community understands the need and has responded in a tremendous way – providing enough money and food for 21 million meals!”

Special awards were presented to companies and schools that went above and beyond the call of duty during this year’s campaign:

The Bag of Hope Award, which is given to companies that have 200 or more employees, was presented to Oswald Companies. This year, Oswald Companies supercharged their efforts – more than doubling their donation from last year raising $6,000. Colleagues teamed up to create more than a dozen extravagant baskets that were raffled off during their campaign. Oswald is also committed to raising awareness of the issue of hunger – starting conversations in their office about the importance of the Harvest for Hunger campaign and brainstorming other ways to get involved with the Food Bank.

The Edmond V. Worley Award, named after the founding director of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, is given to organizations with less than 200 employees and was presented to Danaher Corporation. They hosted an office basketball tournament – purchasing a “pop-a-shot” game and hosting a department-wide March Madness style tournament. At the end, they donated the pop-a-shot game to a local Boys and Girls club, an organization that receives meals from the Food Bank. Danaher had 100% participation across the department raising $4,463; along with their $7,500 corporate gift, their total Harvest for Hunger giving was almost $12,000.

The Rory Borgio Award is presented to a remarkable school that is working to improve their community. This year’s award goes to Hilliard Elementary School in Rocky River. This school has steadily increased their giving over the past several years raising $3,450 this year.

Harvest for Hunger is an annual food and funds drive that raises resources for food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in 21 Northeast Ohio counties. It is a combined effort of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio. The drive began in 1992 and is coordinated locally by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. For more information, please visit www.HarvestforHunger.org

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