Why We Need You
Over 30 million people in the United States live in households that experience hunger and food insecurity.
Two of the more than 600 member hunger programs that rely on the Greater Cleveland Food Bank:
Esther Williams, Beulah Baptist Church
Esther Williams started the pantry through Beulah Baptist Church, located in Cleveland, in 2001 because of her passion to help out those in her community. In Fiscal Year 2009, the pantry distributed close to 100,000 pounds of food to its clients. Esther has seen a large increase in the amount of families and individuals that are being served. In July 2009, the pantry was serving 222 families and 491 individuals. By January 2010, the pantry was serving 264 families and 623 individuals.
“The Food Bank makes a difference in peoples lives. The moms and dads don’t have to be sad because their children no longer have to go to bed at night without food. I didn’t know I could get such joy from the people I meet at the pantry and the staff at the Food Bank. It is a blessing that we are able to help one another," Esther said.
She encourages others to support the food bank too.
“Take a look around. All of us are not fortunate. If you can make a difference in someone’s life, would you want to? Especially when you see the face of a hungry child, or the sadness of a mother or father who just can’t give that child a meal. If you can, share what you have. To see people’s smiles, to see people feel good, because they can eat, it’s worth it," she said.
John Visnauskas, All Faiths Pantry
All Faiths Pantry’s provides free, healthy groceries to low-income seniors and individuals with mobility challenges living in HUD or CMHA housing in Old Brooklyn, Parma, and other Southwest suburbs. Many of its clients find they must choose between buying food and filling prescriptions, heating their homes or other essential needs. Most of its clients have mobility issues, which prevents them from going to the grocery store or a neighborhood hunger center. Clients feel at home because they are served in their homes-volunteers with All Faiths Pantry deliver 100 percent of the food directly to clients.
Often times, clients are depressed because of their current living situations. All Faiths Pantry is working to overcome this challenge by always bringing food as a team, so that the strength of the volunteers’ good cheer wins over the client’s blues.
All Faiths Pantry receives all of their food from the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, which provides food to the pantry at little or no cost. John Visnauskas, founder and director, says “All Faiths Pantry serves those that are not receiving help from other hunger centers. Right now we are serving over 350 people. The Food Bank is essential to what we do because it is 100% the source of our food. It frees up the rest of our budget for putting fuel in our vehicle, keeping the electricity on, and paying the rent on the building. If it wasn’t for the Food Bank we certainly wouldn’t be able to provide our clients with the food that they need.”