TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Hemp Center on Sylvania Avenue in west Toledo sponsored a cookout on Sunday to raise awareness about hunger among Toledo's children.
They were also spreading the word about hemp products.
All the food was free and donated by supporters of the center.
Operators of the food pantry Cornucopia estimate that one in five kids go hungry every day in Toledo.
"It's because of a very large amount of low paying part-time jobs in Toledo. We had a lot of factory jobs in Toledo before the economy tanked," said Laura Marsh of Cornucopia.
Center founder Kevin Spitler says he wants to help others in the community through events like the cookout.
At the same time, he hopes to educate folks about hemp as an alternative to addictive prescription medication.
"Helping them to take less pills, creating less addiction that's causing the heroin epidemic we have today," said Kevin.
Laura Turney switched to hemp after becoming hooked on morphine to control back pain.
"And until I found that I could take something in alternative and natural ways to help me, it's given me my life back," said Laura.
So why a cookout on mother's Day?
The center was inspired by Spitler's mom Dot, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2013.
She had been using medical marijuana during the last twelve months of her life to control her pain.
"That's when I realized I could help with a hemp store versus a medical marijuana store where they don't need a certificate to come in and get relief," said Mr. Spitler.
And also get the word out help is needed to keep Toledo kids fed.