FAIRBORN — The Foodbank distributed fresh food to more than 600 households Wednesday at the Wright State Nutter Center.
Families began lining up for distribution around 10 a.m. and were able to receive fresh foods until 2 p.m. including produce, canned soup, and frozen pulled pork.
Police officers and military personnel were present to help distribute the food and to direct traffic.
This is the second event the Foodbank has hosted at Wright State. The first, held in April, was much more heavily attended.
“In a normal year, we do three of these,” said Chief Development Officer Lee Lauren Truesdale. “During this pandemic, and also last year during the tornadoes we’ve really upped these distributions. It’s a great way to reach a lot of people.”
The April Foodbank event served more than 1,300 households within two hours. Over the course of Wednesday’s drive, the Foodbank served 667 households, about 500 of which had never participated in the program.
“These are folks who, for the first time, need assistance,” said Truesdale. “They’re struggling to make ends meet. Maybe they’re back and employed, but have spent all of their savings. These are day-to-day struggles.”
As organizations come out of lockdown, the need for food assistance has declined. Organizers came prepared to serve crowds similar to April. However, the lesser demand at June’s event meant organizers could give more food to individuals than was previously thought.
“What we’re seeing today is what we would usually consider a normal size distribution. Normally at the Nutter Center we see about 500 household, sometimes less,” Truesdale said.
The Foodbank is responsible for distributing more than 16 million pounds of food every year. Under normal circumstances, the organization works to distribute that food to a network of 106 local nonprofits in Montgomery, Greene, and Preble counties. However, when there is an unmet need in the community, such as during a pandemic or a natural disaster, the Foodbank will render such a service directly.
“At the height of the pandemic, we only had 75 agencies that were open,” said Truesdale. “We had a lot of folks who weren’t able to get to their local pantries. Those pantries are now open, so we hope that folks who need that are also going there.”