COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The wealthiest county in the state is in central Ohio and the average income in Delaware County is $116,000, according to smartasset.com.
However, more and more families are facing hardships when it comes to putting food on the table. But, as NBC4 Anchor Kerry Charles shows us, there’s help for those in need. Kathy Huff, Executive Director of People in Need, knows all about food insecurity.
“People in Need was incorporated back in 1981, so we’ve been serving Delaware County residents for several years in the area,” said Huff. “We grew by 34% over the last five years, and part of that was definitely due to the pandemic. But also, Delaware County is one of the fastest growing counties.
There are 25,000 food-insecure individuals in Delaware County. The Mid-Ohio Food Collective supports more than 680 partner agencies in 20 counties —organizations like People in Need.
“It’s a vital partnership in the sense that we provide the food,” said Kerry McCarthy of Mid-Ohio Food Collective. “They’re there in the communities, distributing food to families, individuals in need. Remembering that we are standing here in the wealthiest county in Ohio and their name is People in Need because they know that there is need here.”
Several resources are available to help families facing hard times. A refrigerated box truck takes food and produce to rural areas in Delaware County, where smaller pantries operate once or twice a month. A local drive-thru — serving 400 households a week — replaced an outdated and small food pantry.
FreshTrak.com is assisting families throughout central Ohio.
“This connects the entire 20 county service areas and that’s FreshTrak.com,” said McCarthy. “And any customer can go to that website and put in their zip code and find out what’s available in their community. Whether it’s a hot meal or a food pantry.”
The efforts are making a difference.
“When a crisis comes up, a car repair, something that really is going to throw them off for the month, they may need help from time to time,” said Huff. “We provided 450,000 meals in the community last year, and the average family who utilized our services only visited here six times, where they could come once a week, were up in 50 weeks out of the year.”