foodbank visit

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot talks with Christa Myers and Lindsey Hackworth of the Southeast Ohio Foodbank.

LOGAN – Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot visited the Southeast Ohio Foodbank on Friday, Sept. 3 to thank staff members for their heroic effort throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foodbank, a program of Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP) is approaching 25 years of providing emergency food to thousands of southeast Ohioans, according to a news release.

As chief executive officer, Babineaux-Fontenot oversees the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 foodbanks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Together, the Feeding America network provided over 6 billion meals in 2020, and is on track to surpass that number in 2021. Babineaux-Fontenot was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons of 2020. Her goal is to visit all Feeding America network foodbanks, and the Southeast Ohio Foodbank is her 84th stop.

Babineaux-Fontenot’s visit came at the start of Hunger Action Month, a national campaign that takes place every September when Feeding America and other network member food banks push to mobilize the public to take action and raise awareness of people facing the impossible choice of hunger. Food banks around the country are working to make a real and lasting impact on food insecurity in their communities, and they are asking for the public’s support.

September marks the 14th year that Feeding America has organized the annual call to action. This year’s campaign spotlights the impossible choices that millions of Americans must make between food and other basic needs.

“For many, a daily meal is a simple choice of what to eat,” said Babineaux-Fontenot. “For people facing hunger, a daily meal poses a very different type of choice. It’s often an impossible decision between food and other crucial needs, such as electricity, childcare, or medicine. Nobody should be forced to make a choice to go hungry. With the public’s support, we can come together to help people achieve long-term food security, so they no longer have to make such tough decisions.”

During the month of September, people across Southeast Ohio can get involved in the movement by learning, committing, and speaking up about ways to end hunger.

• Donate to the Southeast Ohio Foodbank’s fundraising campaign by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/EndHungerinSEO

• Volunteer at the Foodbank. To find volunteer opportunities, visit https://hapcap.volunteerhub.com/

• Follow HAPCAP and the Southeast Ohio Foodbank on social media and share their posts.

• Make a pledge to vote to feed America in the November 2021 election.

Hunger Action Month is a time to mobilize to end hunger. You can choose to donate or advocate. You can choose to volunteer or raise awareness. You can choose to help end hunger. Learn more about how you can take action by visiting www.hapcap.org.

If you are in need of emergency services, please visit hapcap.org/help, or call (740) 767-4500. For more information about HAPCAP’s programs, please contact Claire Gysegem at claire.gysegem@hapcap.org, or (740) 767-1023.

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