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TWINSBURG -- The city's largest food drive of the year will be July 9 through 15, and is focused on helping all families who may be in great need.
It is also a time for residents and friends to volunteer their time and make a difference in many lives, according to a June 23 release from Mayor Ted Yates' office.
More than 420 volunteers are needed for "Fill a Bag, Feed a Family" week in Twinsburg, Twinsburg Township and Reminderville. The week is spearheaded by Food2Share and sponsored by the Twinsburg City School District, the Emergency Assistance Center, Ss. Cosmas and Damian Catholic Church and the Twinsburg Ministerial Association and, as well as more than 20 other local organizations.
Volunteers will hang empty grocery bags on the front doors of local homes July 9. Residents are asked to fill one or more bags with non-perishable (non-expired) food items, paper products and detergents. Bags will be picked up July 15 beginning around 9:30 a.m., and sponsors ask that people do not place filled bags on doorsteps any later than 9:30 a.m. Bags can also be dropped off in the reception area of Twinsburg Government Center.
This program benefits local residents and school district children, including those who participate in the PAWS on Child Hunger Program. The Emergency Assistance Center serves about 500 people from the area and has been providing food and assistance for members of the community for more than 25 years, and this number has been increasing over recent years due to a reduction in SNAP benefits.
As a result of cutbacks, food pantries everywhere have seen increases of up to 60 percent in people seeking assistance. Currently, SNAP recipients receive about $1.37 per meal. Since it is nearly impossible to eat a well-balanced meal for that amount, those in need of food often go to local food pantries to augment their nutrition. Unfortunately, food supplies have actually dwindled in recent years, causing serious food shortages.
And food is not the only concern. Products like detergent, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper and other paper products are not covered by the old food stamp program (now called SNAP). To help with these important hygiene needs, food pantries also solicit these non-food items.
Like all food pantries, June through September typically have the fewest donations and are the months of greatest need.
To volunteer, to help make the "Fill a Bag, Feed a Family" program a success, email John Jones at email@example.com or sign up on the website: www.myfillabag.org/twinsburgarea.
-- Submitted by the city of Twinsburg