Hunger Survey Shows The Need For Local Food Banks

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A survey released this past weekend shows that one out of every seven Americans needs help to get enough food to eat. The results of that Hunger in America survey did not surprise the staff at the Mid-Ohio Food bank.

There are more than 500 locations across Central Ohio where people line up for food. One pantry adjoins the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, and inside, it's standing room only. 

Every month, Michele McPherson comes here to stock up on staples, including meat like venison.

But once a week she's here for produce.  Fresh fruits and vegetables now make up 60 percent of the food offered at the food bank. 

Michele says she never knows if her family of three will be able to stretch their cash to cover food, so this is a critical safety net.

"Sometimes I only eat once a day, that way I can make sure him and his father have food, so if this wasn't here, that would be devastating,” said Michele McPherson.

The Food Bank relies on donations to feed people in 20 counties and some big companies help out in big ways.  Kroger offers its customers an option called Round Up for the Food Bank. When they check out, customers can round up their bill to the next dollar and that change adds up. 

Cheryl McCormick says this year it's about half a million dollars.

"Food is our business. We feed people.  And we take good care of them when they come to our stores, but we know that there's a need outside of the stores,” added McCormick, Kroger Community Relations.

The food bank uses that money to buy in bulk.

"When we get funds through programs like Round Up, what we're able to do is partner with farmers near and far to be able to purchase fresh, delicious produce,” added Yolanda Owens, Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

A spokesman for the Food Bank tells 10TV that American farmers plow under 14 billion pounds of food each year. Their goal is to recover two billion to help feed hungry Americans.