ASHTABULA  — The third annual Feed the Hope campaign will have a new look in 2020, but the goal is the same — to fill Ashtabula County’s food pantries.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers will not be able to gather in large numbers this year to package food. So in order to meet the needs of Ashtabula County residents, organizers are taking this year’s event online with an even larger goal of 225,000 meals. The cost of the meals is $65,000. Every dollar contributed provides about four meals. 

Donations are being accepted on the Feed the Hope Ashtabula County Facebook page, or visit Country Neighbor at 39 S. Maple St., Orwell, Ohio, 44076. Monetary donations can also be mailed to Country Neighbor at P.O. Box 212, Orwell, Ohio, 44076.

The total amount donated will be announced during a live broadcast online on Sept. 11. Donors can also contribute during the live online event. 

“Last year’s event provided 201,000 meals, providing assistance to nearly 30,000 individuals and 11,207 households,” said Barbara Klingensmith, executive director at Country Neighbor.

Last year, more than 650 volunteers gathered at the Ashtabula Towne Square to package meals. Country Neighbor coordinates the effort to distribute meals through 16 food pantries in Ashtabula County. 

“Not only are you going to be a blessing to the people who receive these meals, but you will be blessed,” said State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson. 

Ashtabula County Commissioner Kathryn Whittington said, “I can’t think of a better way to start my day.”

Feed the Hope 2019 Sponsors included:

• Event Sponsors, $5,000 and up: Ashtabula Towne Square, Ashtabula County Senior Services Levy, The Ashtabula Foundation, A-Tech, Gazette Publications, Direction Home of Eastern Ohio, Midway Chevrolet and Chevy All Stars, Mary Clark, The Robert S. Morrison Foundation and Westfield Insurance Foundation/Wollam Grand Valley Insurance.

• Diamond Sponsors, $1,000 to $4,999, Ashtabula County Job and Family Services, Ashtabula County Medical Center, Grand Valley Youth Philanthropy Club, Northeast Credit Union (Lakeview Federal Credit), Quanex Foundation/Woodcraft Industries, UBS Financial Services, Inc. and Wells Fargo Shred It Event.

Feed the Hope 2020 sponsorships are available by contacting Klingensmith at Country Neighbor at 440-437-6311.

This community-led event is made possible through the collaborative efforts of State Rep. John Patterson, Country Neighbor, United Way of Ashtabula County, Ashtabula County Medical Center, Ashtabula County Job and Family Services, A-Tech, Direction Home of Eastern Ohio, Gazette Publications, University Hospitals, Greater Ashtabula Chamber of Commerce, OSU Extension Ashtabula County and the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners. 

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