COLUMBUS — The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is joining forces with United Producers, Inc. (UPI), which operates nine livestock marketing facilities in Ohio, to launch a month-long ‘Cooperating to Feed Our Community’ fundraiser.
In Ohio, UPI operates facilities in Bucyrus, Caldwell, Creston, Eaton, Ft. Loramie, Gallipolis, Hillsboro, Mt. Vernon and Stryker. This foodbank fundraiser kicked off October 1, and is being held in honor of October being National Co-Op Month and 2012 being the International Year of the Cooperative.
To demonstrate the power of the cooperative, United Producers is asking its members and employees to help make a difference in their community this October by donating to their state foodbank association. Members and employees can donate as little or as much as they wish — per head of livestock marketed through UPI or in a lump sum — and all donations will be tax deductible. Forms can be completed upon check-in at any United Producers market, or obtained from any UPI representative throughout the month of October.
“As a cooperative organization, we know how important it is to help those in our communities,” said Dennis Bolling, president and CEO of UPI. “Cooperating to Feed Our Community is a great opportunity for our farmer members and employees to give back to our community through making donations to our local foodbanks. Food prices continue to rise, and this is one tangible way our farmer members and employees are working together to help ease that burden for those in Ohio who need it most.”
The Ohio Association of Foodbanks operates the Ohio Food Program and Agricultural Clearance Program, an innovative public-private partnership which purchases surplus and unmarketable produce from local growers and farmers that would otherwise go unharvested. The program is recognized as one of Ohio’s most successful public-private partnerships.
“Ohio’s farmers, growers and producers have been longstanding partners in our efforts to feed hungry people,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “We are so grateful for the generosity of partners like United Producers who are in the same business as us — we are both dedicated to feeding people and supporting our local communities. Their support will go a long way in providing nutritious food to the nearly one in five Ohioans struggling with food insecurity.”