TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - More than 340,000 people do not have enough food right here in the 419 area code. That means one in five families are wondering what their next meal will be and where it will come from.
One non-profit is expanding to better serve our community, especially the children.
"We became a part of another world that we didn't know existed," said Walter Myers, a volunteer turned employee.
Myers first got involved with Connecting Kids to Meals when his children's school required service hours. Little did he know that experience would change his life.
Myers now spends his days helping pack and deliver food to children in our community who are in need.
During the summer, Connecting Kids to Meals will serve 6,000 meals a day. At their after-school program, the organization serves about 1,500 meals a day.
"This is like a war against hunger," said Myers. "You really don't know how many people are hungry. Because you have three meals a day doesn't mean that everyone is having three meals a day."
In fact, statistics show several are not.
About 30,000 kids in Northwest Ohio face hunger daily. That's what CKM is trying to change.
"We have a lot of resurgence going on in Toledo, but these are some of the underlying effects of the poverty that has existed for a long time," said Wendi Huntley, president of Connecting Kids to Meals. "So, it's going to take a collective effort and a focused effort in order to address this problem."
Connecting Kids to Meals recently changed their name, got a new kitchen and is spreading further into the community.
Just this year they have served better than 78,000 meals more than the year before. With more demand they need help.
The organization kicked off their 15 for 15 campaign to gain support.
"If we have 6,000 meals going out into the summer months and we're not even hitting everyone we should be able to have more meals going out during the after schools setting," said Huntley. "Our job is to really educate people about what we do and how we can help these kids."
They have more than 15 ways you can get involved in hunger relief right here in Northwest Ohio. They encourage you to learn and raise awareness about hunger in our community, attend their events during the campaign, donate funds or your time to the cause and more.
To learn more about Connecting Kids to Meals or their 15 for 15 campaign and the events they are offering, you can visit their website.