Money or food? What's the best way to give to local charities?

Money or food? What's the best way to give to local charities?

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo loves to give, but sometimes the giving doesn't go as far as it could.

That's why local organizations like Cherry Street Mission Ministries value transparency, with where your donations go.

"You can physically walk your dollar into our project, and literally watch that dollar walk to the store, watch how it walks to the pantry, and watch how this pantry feeds the café," said President and CEO of Cherry Street Mission, Dan Rogers.

Cherry Street serves a thousand meals a day, and if you donate money, it can feed even more people.

"So when we purchase this and we purchase it in bulk, it drives the cost way down," said Rogers. "So a dollar at Cherry street will go further. Because when you give a dollar to Cherry Street, it's being a part of a larger volume of purchase."

Same goes for Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank. They said your monetary donation goes even further than a food donation.

They also have a four-star rating on Charity Navigator, with 96.9 percent of all funding going directly to program services. That's critical said the food bank's Marketing Director, Shelley Crossley. She said nearly 16 percent of people in northwest Ohio are food insecure, without reliable access to enough nutritious food to lead healthy lives.

Still, many prefer to bring charities clothing and food themselves.

Rogers said either way, they just love our community being involved in what they're doing.

"If you can say 'Dan, surely my dollar's going to act like a dollar in the community, but my kids get to be involved,' then please, we say get your kids involved.  Because they're the ones who are going to continue to provide service to their community long after we're gone," said Rogers.

And that experience, he said, is what keeps Toledo's generosity going, through 7 decades in the community.

Here is a list of items needed at Cherry Street Missions Ministries.

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