COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Franklin County Commissioners have approved a $2.5 million grant for the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to help the organization meet an unprecedented recent demand for food assistance.

More than half of the funding will go toward direct food purchases, with the remainder supporting the local food system infrastructure in Franklin County.

Mid-Ohio Food Collective President and CEO Matt Habash attributes the increase in demand to inflation and said it’s happening all over central Ohio.

“The need continues to grow,” Habash said. “I mean, the last numbers I have are July and it’s up 38.4% over July of 2021, so we’re continuing to see a lot of new people come and ask for help for the first time. We’ve had over 100,000 individuals since January come in and request help.”

The food bank is able to stretch donation dollars through their partnerships: For every dollar they receive, they can get about $5.22 worth of groceries.

For more on how you can help, visit the food bank’s website by clicking here.