Serving up Sustainability: Local Initiatives Fight Hunger
Posted 2017-08-25 by MCF

Food insecurity is a reality for our area and many surrounding areas of Appalachia. To address area needs, food pantries must be able to stock the necessities on a regular basis. While donations from community members are always needed and appreciated, they are unpredictable.
Several local nonprofits have made the fight against hunger their long-term mission. The Marietta Community Foundation recently finished approving applications in this year’s first grant cycle. The grants awarded benefit area nonprofit organizations who address a variety of community needs.
Among the recipients were the Marietta Community Food Pantry and Community Food Initiatives who both received funding approval for initiatives centered on combatting hunger in the area. The Marietta Community Food Pantry will use funds to create food kits for the homeless. The kits will consist of non-perishable goods that do not require tools to open.
Resources are often difficult to locate by those in need. Through Community Food Initiatives, the Sisters Health Foundation, the Marietta Community Foundation, and so many more are joining together to form the Southeast Ohio Foodlink, a people-centered solution to hunger in 10 Ohio counties. Based on WV Foodlink, the Southeast Ohio Foodlink will help connect a variety of local resources, federal programs and other initiatives to combine efforts and increase access to needed services.
The initiative expands the reach of necessary services and creates a sustainable resource that meets today’s needs while anticipating future needs. While the addition of the Southeast Ohio Foodlink will help connect community members to fresh, healthy food in their vicinity, it will not replace the need for regular access to non-perishable items supplied by their local food pantries.
Through its many donors and partnerships, the Marietta Community Foundation is able to assist initiatives both small and large. The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation has supported our area pantries for nearly a decade. Through an endowed fund, the food pantries get quarterly monies they use to purchase staple food items.
“The annual donation from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation is hugely important to our area pantries,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO of the Marietta Community Foundation. “Dominion Energy is a sustaining contributor to our local food pantries. Their annual contribution will only grow in importance once the Foodlink is established as more of those in need will be able to access the area’s resources.” The fight against hunger is a long-term battle that needs a network of likeminded partners and donors who can ensure a future of support. Partnerships with other donors and nonprofits help pool resources to build a vast support network, while the generosity of donors, like the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, ensures the continued availability of resources.

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