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Hall Hunger Initiative kicks off week-long project to support local food pantry

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Alejandro Figueroa
/
WYSO

The Hall Hunger Initiative kicked off a project to support the Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley’s food pantry Monday. The partnership with Gem City Market is in an effort to raise awareness of Hunger Action Month.

Shoppers at the Gem City Market in northwest Dayton will be asked this week if they would like to round-up their grocery purchases.

It’s in an effort to raise money and support the Catholic Social Services Choice Food Pantry in Dayton.

The week-long project comes amid rising food prices, the end of extra SNAP dollars, formerly known as food stamps, and the end of pandemic relief waivers that allowed schools to serve free meals to all students.

Mike Lehner with Catholic Services said with the ongoing supply chain shortages due to COVID-19 and the end of several pandemic relief programs, a lot of families are struggling.

“Most of our visitors are only coming to us once a year for a week's worth of groceries. And so now we're beginning to see those numbers are actually rising above where they even were in 2019 and earlier,” Lehner said.

The round-up project at Gem City Market will go through Friday, Sept. 30. The Hall Hunger Initiative will match the donations up to $2,500.

Former Ambassador Tony Hall, the founder of the Hall Hunger Initiative, said the effort comes at a time when many families are struggling to meet their basic needs. The fundraising will provide Catholic Services with a cushion to serve the influx of families it’s seeing.

“It's quick and easy, and if we give a little, we can make a big difference,” he said.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Support for WYSO's reporting on food and food insecurity in the Miami Valley comes from the CareSource Foundation.

Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Alejandro particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming