The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 2, 2014

Ashtabula County group hopes to provide meat for the poor

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

— A local organization is hoping to help feed needy families in Ashtabula County through a creative approach to farming and community involvement.

“Farm for Christ” was recently coordinated by the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Ashtabula through the Our Lady of Peace Parish, according to organizers Drew Thomas and SVDS Ashtabula President Traci Warren.

“The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Ashtabula is excited to announce the “Farm for Christ campaign to help feed the needy families of Ashtabula County,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he has been working on the idea for quite some time to coordinate efforts to help farmers raise cattle, pigs and poultry to be packaged and distributed through the Country Neighbor food distribution center in Orwell.

“We are reaching out to the community for support by either making a monetary donation or help raise one of our animals on their farm,” Thomas said. He said the organization will accept any donations, but has suggested sponsorship guidelines which include $1,000 for a steer, $500 for a half steer, $250 for a pig, $100 for poultry and $50 for an egg sponsor.

“One steer will provide approximately 700 meals to the needy families of Ashtabula County,” he said.

“If you have an interest in raising one of our animals or donating one of your animals to the “Farm for Christ” program please contact Thomas (at 216-780-3847),” he said.

Thomas said checks can be made payable to Farm for Christ and mailed to St. Vincent de Paul Society, 3312 Lake Ave., Ashtabula, OH 44004.

Ron Capitena, of Kingsville Township, is one farmer on board to help raise the animals. “It doesn’t cost me anything to raise them,” he said.

“It’s going to help the pantries tremendously,” said Diane Bradbury who operates the Country Neighbor Food Bank program. She said the center coordinates distribution to 16 food pantries, five on-site meal programs and two homeless shelters.