Today, I visited the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in preparation for the 2013 Law Firm Challenge virtual food drive. While I’m embarrassed to say today was the first time I have been to their “new” facility since its opening in 2009, I was absolutely blown away by the magnitude of what they do.
With the help of nearly 100 staff members and 15,000 volunteers, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank serves over 500 agencies, spanning 20 counties throughout the state of Ohio. The net result – over 100,000 meals are served everyday, thanks to the generous support of local donors, volunteers, staff and leadership of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
The LEED certified facility in Grove City is over 200,000 square feet of warehouse space, complete with meeting and training facilities, a kitchen, an on-site pantry, and even a garden. During my tour, I met one of the “chefs”, who works with pantry staff around the state to help them learn new recipes to make use of the products available at the foodbank at any given time. (I could totally see us doing a CBA event at this facility!)
The garden in itself is a marvel – over 1,000 square feet of growing space at the Grove City facility, where volunteers learn how to grow food, eat healthier, and manage their food budgets. As part of it’s environmental commitment, the garden features a rain catchment system, greenhouse, and composting barrels, as well as a sophisticated irrigation system that was designed and built by high school students.
Can’t get to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank to volunteer? Avid gardeners should consider participating in their Plant a Row for the Hungry program. You can donate a row of produce from your own garden to local foodbanks, soup kitchens, and service organizations.
Other initiatives include the Harvest Campaign, developed to provide healthier food choices to those in need. In 2011, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank distributed nearly 11.6 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to families in need.
A big shout out to Colin Baumgartner and Joan Lloyd for taking the time to give me a tour and for all the good work they do. This is a great organization, and the CBA is proud to partner with them again this year on the Law Firm Challenge, which begins in April. Stay tuned to CBA publications for more details about the event and ways you might participate.
Last year, local law firms contributed over 160,000 meals to those in need, and we’re hoping to top that number this year. We have some fun, creative law firm coordinators, who always keep the contest exciting. I can’t wait to see what they plan this year.