If you watched the CNN interview yesterday morning (December 27, 2019) you probably heard there were technical difficulties with the audio. Because of this, the interview was shorter than scheduled and we were not able to share all the information we had planned. So here are a few additional remarks that were on our list.
We answered the question on meal cost, approximately .50 per meal. We also wanted to share that we serve about 400 households, 1100 – 1200 individuals each month. Many of these families use our services only a few times a year when they really need it “to make ends meet.” Over the year we reach more than 5,500 unique individuals, including almost 2,000 children. Poverty in Athens County is approximately 30% and food insecurity about 20%, both the highest in Ohio. More information is available on other pages of this website.
Our Planning Process:
We are currently reading and compiling all the suggestions we have received on Facebook, community channels, and through other means on how we might use this windfall. We want to look at what we can do both for those we currently serve, and those who we have not yet served. After the holidays, we plan to reach out to other individuals and agencies in our local community who are familiar with the issue of food insecurity to additionally solicit their advice.
We have meetings scheduled with financial planners and accountants, attorneys, and charitable foundation directors to seek out their very best advice on using this generous donation. We have also had conversations with our banking institution and with a trusted organization CFO regarding all proper security protocols for these deposits, particularly given the very public nature of this both in the media and social media.
The cumulative size of these donations far exceeds anything we have ever foreseen, even under our most optimistic predictions. These steps will permit the board to act in a manner that exercises due diligence and fiduciary responsibility. Decisions such as these cannot be made in haste; they require full investigation, planning, and alignment with both our mission and long-term strategic planning. Obviously this will take some time but will ensure that we use these funds in a way that honors each donor, will have a far-reaching impact on our community, and will be both sustainable and long-term. We understand we have a responsibility to be transparent in how these funds will be used.
Our goal is to fight both hunger and food insecurity as we address the very issue that Joe Burrow shared: “not a lot of food on the table, going hungry after school”. This is a very serious concern and must be addressed in a very deliberate and serious manner.
We would ask that all of you visit our front page and sign up to be a “Friend of the Pantry.” This will add you to our newsletter mailing list where we will continue to update our Friends on our planning process. Updates will also be available on this web site and our Facebook page.
Our Heartfelt Thanks:
Finally, we would like to thank Joe Burrow for shining a light on hunger in our community. This is an issue across the country and hopefully this will not only start the needed conversations but serve to find solutions to end hunger in our country. We are so very blessed as a nation and no one should go to bed hungry. We are better than this and we need to do better. Thanks to all of you who have supported our work and thanks to those of you who are working in your communities as well. Together we can find solutions both in Athens County and across America.
Athens County Food Pantry