In a growing effort to help feed the hungry, a group of community members met for the Ross County Hunger Summit, at the library annex, Tuesday afternoon. Bud Scharfetter, with the agency council for Mid-Ohio Food Bank, said they hold a variety of programs: Produce Express, which allows agencies to pick up produce to distribute to their clients; Produce Drops, where 5-9 tons of produce are dropped off and distributed to those in need; Mobile Markets, in which produce is brought and distributed with the leftovers taken to other locations.
The key, Scharfetter said, is to make healthy choices and education available to those in need.
"Handing them a bag of carrots is not going to solve a problem, but giving them carrots and teaching them how to cook with it and making them understand that it's an enjoyable and decent process and that it is a good thing to do, will eventually bring that group out of poverty."
Scharfetter said organizers and volunteers work to serve those in need in a dignified way.
"This is not a comfortable situation for (those in need), and it's our duty really to do this not in some lofty manner in our part but to say, 'Hey, we understand this problem; it could be any one of us, and we're here just to help.'"
Two produce drops will take place in Ross County this month. The first will be from 10am to 2pm, March 29th, at the Bainbridge Fire House on West Fifth Street; the other will take place from 10am to 1pm, March 30, at the Mt. Tabor Church Fellowship Hall.