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In the midst of all this COVID-19 business, the West Ohio Food Bank had an important audit at their facility. It is the American Institute of Baking that looks at food safety practices. AIB assessed policies, procedures, and documentation, along with an inspection of the grounds, buildings, production, and storage areas. The food bank received an outstanding rating for the 3rd consecutive year.

Cars were lined up in Celina Tuesday afternoon as the West Ohio Food Bank handed out food for those who needed it. The Ohio National Guard lent the food bank a hand in giving out the food. This was to allow the older volunteers with the West Ohio Food Bank to stay at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The West Ohio Food Bank is continuing their efforts to provide food to everyone who may need that extra help during the pandemic. They are working to keep drive-through food distributions going and are also working on new programs to help others who may not be able to make it to the food bank. A new homebound distribution is being thought about since they have extra help for now.

The National Guard has been activated by Gov. DeWine to help alleviate pressure from the Coronavirus. The need hasn’t stopped in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, the National Guard has stepped in to get food to the hungry. Their orders came in late last week and the members of the National Guard had to quickly prepare to assist at 12 food banks across Ohio, beginning Monday. The CEO of the West Ohio Food Bank in Lima says without them the food bank was in jeopardy.

With the stress of the pandemic on local grocery stores, the West Ohio Food Bank is gearing up to keep food on resident’s tables. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has authorized the assistance of the National Guard to food banks to help during this crisis. The West Ohio Food Bank is in the process of requesting 20 guardsmen to help as they have lost volunteers due to many of them being seniors who are staying home. They are working with area pantries to meet CDC requirements and convert to curbside pickup of prepackaged boxes of food.

When Hamilton started, they were distributing around 6-million pounds of food last year it was up to 9-million pounds and they hope to push 10 million pounds this year. The search has started for Hamilton’s replacement. They are looking for someone with at least 5 years experience and skilled in budgeting and planning.

Area schools and organizations are battling it out to see who will be this year’s winner of the HCF "Food Fight". To be declared the winner, they must be the group that collects the most food and raises the most money for the West Ohio Food Bank. All of the food collected and dollars raised will stay local. The “Food Fight” has become an annual event to help stocks the shelves at local pantries during the slump after the holidays.

A huge donation from a regional grocery chain will help provide food for hundreds of people in the area. Fresh Encounter Inc. in partnership with their customers of local Chief and Community Markets dropping off pallet after pallet of needed items to the West Ohio Food Bank. During the holidays the company encourages its customers and team members to donated benefiting people who need a “hand-up” to provide for their families. Friday's donation will provide 16,000 meals from the community for the community.

The West Ohio Food Bank set up a “pop-up” foodbank on Friday to give a little extra help to those in need. The West Ohio food bank helps over 70,000 people who find it hard making sure there’s food on the table every night and has provided more than 2.5 million meals for people in Allen County alone. Thanks to extra, unexpected shipments of food to the food bank, today they were able to give out food to those in need before this month’s scheduled food bank distribution.

The West Ohio Food Bank is making a few changes to better serve those needing nutritious food. They will now be holding their food distribution days on the fourth Thursday of the month with the next on February 25th. Pre-registration is required and they have added the opportunity to sign up at their office or at Saint Marks United Methodist Church along with their online and phone registration. The goal is to better serve those in need.