Hunger Fact Sheet
The mission of the Cleveland Foodbank is working together to ensure that everyone in our communities has the nutritious food they need every day.
Distribution Facts and Figures
In 2011, the Cleveland Foodbank distributed 34.5 million pounds of food to 618 hunger programs in six Northeast Ohio counties.
The Cleveland Foodbank provides a majority of the food that is distributed at Northeast Ohio hunger centers, including shelf-stable food, perishable food, produce, prepared meals, as well as some key nonfood items.
The Foodbank provides food and critical nonfood products to more than 600 programs that serve hungry men, women and children. These vital partners in the fight against hunger include:
- Food pantries, which distribute bags of food that can be used to prepare meals at home.
- Hot Meal Sites, where hot meals are served in a communal setting.
- Shelters for the homeless and abused.
- Programs that serve hungry children and the elderly.
- Other agencies, such as rehabilitation programs and group homes.
168 hot meal programs
231 food pantries
208 other programs for elderly and children
Total = 620 Programs Served
Many people live so close to the poverty line that when an emergency occurs - a car breaks down or a child becomes ill - they need food assistance. A hunger study released in 2010 by Feeding America, the national association of foodbanks, found the following information about clients served by Cleveland Foodbank member agencies:
• 34% are children under 18 years of age
• 15% are elderly
• 14% of households have at least one employed adult
• 79% have incomes below the federal poverty level (poverty level for a family of 4 was $22,050 in 2009)
• 5% of those receiving food are homeless
• 76% of those served have completed high school
The Cleveland Foodbank relies on the generosity of thousands of people who donate time, money and food each year to help feed the hungry in our community. In 2011, over 10,000 volunteers contributed 55,587 hours of time to the organization. This saved the Foodbank the cost of hiring 26 full-time staff members. Volunteers sort and repack food, help prepare hot meals and bagged lunches in the Cleveland Community Kitchen, serve on committees, and assist with office projects and special events.
Sources of Food
22% Food industry donations
15% Best Buys Food Purchase Program
30% Government surplus food
16% Ohio Food Purchase Program & Production Alliance
1% Food drives including Harvest for Hunger
12% Produce donors
4% Cleveland Community Kitchen
The Foodbank Operation
1.The Cleveland Foodbank links organizations with food to spare with more than 600 local programs that serve hungry men, women, and children in our community.
2.The Foodbank solicits donations of food from over 250 food industry donors, including growers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. Much of this food is surplus or unmarketable - instead of being thrown away, it is used to feed the hungry. The Foodbank also receives donations from the Harvest for Hunger campaign and other food drives held by businesses, schools and community organizations.
3.The food is either brought to our main warehouse immediately for distribution to agencies or sorted and repackaged by volunteers. Hunger centers order the food they need from a daily list of approximately 140 available items. The food is either picked up by the agencies or delivered to them directly by the Foodbank. The agencies use this food to provide nutritious meals to the hungry in our community.
Cleveland Foodbank Programs
The community relies on the Cleveland Foodbank to offer nutritious food and programs that address the needs of agencies that serve the hungry.
- Cleveland Community Kitchen: The Cleveland Community Kitchen uses donated food to provide complete meals to soup kitchens and other programs that distribute prepared meals to their clients but that lack the resources or staff to prepare the meals at their own facilities.
- Produce to People: We distribute over seven million pounds of donated fresh fruits and vegetables annually through member agencies and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority low-income housing facilities, which we receive from the Northern Ohio Food Terminal, Feeding America- the nation's foodbank network, Ohio farmers, and other produce suppliers.
- Food Rescue Program: Through the Food Rescue Program, we retrieve excess foods from supermarkets and restaurants and use them in the prepared meals produced by the Cleveland Community Kitchen or make them available directly to our member agencies.
- Backpacks for Kids: Through this program, we distribute food to low-income children. We provide each participating child with a bag of food every Thursday to travel home discretely in their backpacks for use over the weekend when they have access to fewer food resources, such as the free school lunches they receive during the week.
- Kids Cafe: Through this program, we tackle childhood hunger by providing a daily hot meal and weekly nutrition education activities to at-risk youth at community partner sites each evening after school. The meals we provide, prepared by the Cleveland Community Kitchen, make it possible for each site to provide a complete meal every day to participating children. To ensure that the children—who are often more selective eaters than many adults—are eating the foods we provide, we use a dietician to help make sure that the kid-friendly menus our staff create are appealing and also meet standards for healthy eating for youth.
- Delivery Program: Our Delivery Program is an essential service for many of our pantries and soup kitchens that have limited staff or volunteer help or lack the size vehicle they need to retrieve the large food orders they place at the Foodbank. Nearly 50% of the food we distribute each year is sent out to agencies through our Delivery Program.
- Agency Academy: Agency Academy brings together community partners to provide educational and health-related programming to our member agencies to help increase the capacity of our agency representatives to serve their clients. The Agency Academy curriculum includes training in health and nutrition, efficient program management, fundraising, safe food handling, and identifying and utilizing community resources.
- Harvest for Hunger is an annual food and funds drive that makes resources available for food pantries and soup kitchens in 21 Northeast Ohio counties in the month of March. The drive began in 1992 and is managed by the Cleveland Foodbank. The 2011 campaign was co-chaired by Albert Ratner of Forest City Enterprises & Ken Marblestone, President of Charter One, Ohio. Honorary co-chairs are Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. Harvest for Hunger has grown from raising just over half a million pounds of food in 1992 to more than 14 million meals in 2011.
For more information about how you can help, call the Cleveland Foodbank at 216.738.2265.