Lyndsey Haight, Executive Director
While COVID-19 has not directly affected the physical health of most residents in our region, the economic and emotional toll has been astounding. The average unemployment rate for our 12 cities and towns over April, May and June 2020 tops 14%, compared to 2.45% one year ago. Even at the height of the recession, local unemployment average for the region in 2010 was only 7.5%.
Families who were gainfully employed only 6 months ago now rely on stimulus checks, SNAP and programs like Our Neighbors’ Table. With your support, ONT has been able to meet the need head-on and has proudly supported our partners in school districts and councils on aging across the region in working creatively and collaboratively to get food to people every day. From January 1 to July 31, ONT’s grocery programs distributed 845,000 pounds of wholesome foods to 4214 people across the region (up 11% and 24% respectively over last year).
How can we keep up with this increase of demand? Because our community is committed to ensuring everyone’s basic needs are met, even in a global crisis. You are each proving the “Unity” in Community. In just the first 90 days following the shutdown, more than 900 new donors reached out to support ONT’s work. Collectively, as local businesses were struggling, individuals in every community stepped forward and contributed a record $300,000 to keep food on the table for ONT’s guests.
“Uncertainty” seems to be the guiding principle for the near future. But there are 2 things I know for certain: 1) As this crisis continues, need for food assistance will continue to increase; and 2) ONT and its supporters will be here to respond. September is Hunger Action Month. I ask you to continue your resolve, reach out to friends and neighbors who need help, support our efforts by raising awareness, hosting virtual food drives, and, when you can, making a donation. We will continue to win this fight as we work in unity to keep our neighbors food-secure.
September is Hunger Action Month!
- Join ONT’s email list
- Follow ONT on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Watch a Hunger Action Month Facebook live
- Register for virtual Volunteer Orientation by filling out a Volunteer Application
- Purchase a ticket to the Annual Breakfast broadcast
- Make a donation
- Become a Breakfast Club member with a recurring donation
Join us for the Annual Breakfast Broadcast!
Summer Lunch Program
For the last 10 years, ONT has worked to ensure that our region’s families continue to have access to nutritious foods even when school breaks for the summer. Never has the reliance on school meals been more apparent than it has been this year in the wake of COVID-19. Through June, all of the school districts in our area worked creatively to keep meals available to school children. But then what? ONT’s Summer Lunch Program continues to provide great breakfast, lunch and snack groceries to keep families’ kitchens stocked. To-date, ONT has already put more than 256,000 meals on the table for 1,062 children, including almost 46,000 meals just since July 1. Families are shopping through our online markets each week, picking out fresh fruits, cereal, snacks, and fixings for sandwiches. ONT is on track to save these families a total of $150,000 in food costs this summer!
First-Time Guest Quote
"We never imagined we would be in a position to need your help. My husband got laid off [shortly before COVID with no severance]. We have yet to receive an unemployment check. [All of his] interviews [were put on hold indefinitely] the week this craziness hit. We are finding paying our mortgage and COBRA at the same time is killing us. When we were told you could help it was like a gift from God. I have always admired your organization. I admire it on a whole new level now. Thank you for all you do, and continue to do, to help us and all in the communities you serve, especially during this crazy time. We are truly looking at this as the beginning of a relationship with ONT that we will pay back when we are able."
--ONT First-time Guest
Not getting our emails? We might not have your current email on file. Sign-up for our email list today and don't miss any ONT news!