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Food assistance still a growing need in northwest Ohio - here's how to get help

Events like drive-thru food giveaways are helping local families put food on the table during the pandemic.

TOLEDO, Ohio — 4 p.m. Feb. 15 - City of Zion, Mount Zion Church says it has about 300 boxes of food remaining at the church for anyone to pick up.  The church is at 701 Vance St, Toledo, OH 43604, 419-246-1850


Drive-thru food giveaways are just another way the community is coming together to help our neighbors in need. Local leaders and food banks say the pandemic is adding to a already desperate situation. 

Talmadge J. Thomas, a pastor at the City of Zion, the Mt. Zion Church in Toledo says his church's mission is to hold these food drives every other week. 

Before the pandemic, the church was helping almost 300 families a week. Now, it's helping about 700 a week. 

The pastor says there's a definite need for food. "People are really trying to make decisions between bills food and so to be able to say 'hey I can feed my family without having to use this or that', it can stretch," said Thomas.

The Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank says its total distribution went up 25% in 2020 from 2019, showing the pandemic has had an impact.

Barbara Hoftstetter with The Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Banks says food insecurity can be many different things, it all depends on a person's situation. 

Many times, someone needing help has a job but isn't bringing in enough money to pay all the bills. "They come into the same situations, do they spend it on rent, do they pay the utilities, do they provide the medications, do they buy the food?" Hoftstetter said.

If you or someone you know could use some extra help putting food on the table right now, keep an eye on the City of Zion, The Mt. Zion Church's Facebook page. They post an update daily and aim to hold food drives every other week.

You can also reach out to The Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank at this link here.