The Hunger Summit shared details of produce giveaways and a new online resource.
At the Ross County Hunger Summit, Tuesday, representatives from a number of churches and agencies met at the library annex to discuss resources and their collaboration efforts to help feed the hungry.
Julie Colburn, who is a substitute at Adena Local Schools, shared an experience from last March that shows hunger is a local issue: "A little boy came to me on a Monday, starving, crying, hurting, because, you know, he hadn't had (anything) to eat all weekend."
Colburn said this motivated her to get involved. In fact, she is in the process of starting a food pantry that will serve the elderly and disabled in the Frankfort and Clarksburg areas.
Also, in an effort to better coordinate between agencies, United Way of Ross County has paid for an online database that local agencies can use for a year to share case management and also reduce duplication of services.
Mary Elsass, with United Way, said, most of all, Charity Tracker will help organizations to better work together.
"Maybe one agency can't help you, but they can get on simply the Web site and say, 'We have someone who needs children's clothing,' and probably in a good situation, within minutes, they'll get a response from a church or another agency that can help," she said.
More information is available at www.CharityTracker.com. To sign up, organizations must call United Way at 773-3280.
In a related note, there are two free produce giveaways slated for qualified, low-income Ross County residents. Free produce will be available Thursday, October 4, 10am to noon, at the Richmond Dale Community Center, 225 Market Street, Richmond Dale. The event is hosted by Orchard Hill United Church of Christ.
The Hope Clinic will sponsor the mobile food market on Monday, October 8, from 5:30pm to 7pm, in the parking lot at the Ross County Service Center, 475 Western Avenue.
For both events, individuals must bring a photo ID and sign a form that indicates their income eligibility. They are asked to bring heavy duty bags, boxes or carts to carry food items home.