As state and federal budgets are being set for the upcoming years, state and local representatives were invited to the West Ohio Food Bank to get a greater sense of what goes on.
Foodbank and state legislative officials walked through the West Ohio Food Bank in Lima for a tour Friday morning. They got the chance to see first-hand how operations are run, and how the food banks have been performing in overdrive since the pandemic hit.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, the executive director of Ohio Association of Food Banks says, “I think a lot of the work that we do is kind of hidden. You know where the distributions are, it’s a word-of-mouth situation, and it’s important for them to understand the tremendous need that we have.”
Speaker of the Ohio House Bob Cupp, along with House representative Jon Cross were among the crowd of people to tour the distribution center. They got the opportunity to see every step of the process, even what an actual distribution looks like.
Cupp says, “A lot of times we just deal with numbers when we talk about the budget, they’re numbers on a ledger, but when you come here and see how they actually go to work and how that actually serves the people in the communities, it really makes it a lot more real.”
After the tour of the distribution center, everyone sat for a roundtable discussion on the food bank’s funding needs. Hamler-Fugitt says that the state general assembly provides funding for nearly 25 percent of all of their distributions.
“We’ll be working with speaker Cupp and his caucus to ensure that we continue to receive that adequate funding that will allow us to feed our hungry friends and neighbors 365 days a year, and hopefully come through this pandemic and be better on the other side,” says Fugitt.
For more information on the West Ohio Food Bank, visit westohiofoodbank.org.