Thanksgiving is a special time of year in which family and loved ones come together and give thanks for the blessings they have received throughout the year. Yet, for thousands right here in our community, this is not the case.
With the joy of Thanksgiving and the holidays also comes the harshness of the winter months. Rising heating and transportation costs will affect us all this coming winter, however it will be especially burdensome for the approximately 80,000 people who live below the poverty line in Northwestern Ohio.
The Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank is striving to provide turkeys to the more than 268 agencies they serve. These agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters that offer holiday food baskets and meals to those less fortunate.
Food bank officials say they will be able to meet the demand only with the help of donations by individuals and businesses.
This can be an arduous task, as every year the need for food assistance grows, according to Linda Suber, developmental specialist, Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, Inc.
“Through our agencies, over 300,000 people received food assistance in 2007, up more than 97 percent since 2001,” she said. “However, together we can continue the fight against hunger in Northwest Ohio this holiday season.
“Though we have had many generous donations, additional turkeys are still desperately needed,” Suber said. Operation Turkey began in 2003 when the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank asked the community for help to provide turkeys to community residents in need. Food bank officials were overwhelmed with the response.
“We want to make 2008 our most successful year to date for Operation Turkey,” Suber said.
Those who wish to make a donation to Operation Turkey may call 419-242-5000. Donations may also be sent to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, c/o Operation Turkey, 24 East Woodruff Ave., Toledo, OH 43604.