Columbus, OH — Last night, Columbus City Council approved $1,000,000 in emergency funding to Mid-Ohio Food Collective (MOFC) to help meet the urgent and overwhelming needs of Columbus families facing food insecurity. MOFC will use the funds to help replenish critically low food supplies so that more shelf-stable food can be distributed to agency partners that put food on people’s tables across our community.
The need for food assistance in Central Ohio is at unprecedented levels as families struggle to make ends meet in the face of the highest inflation rates in over 40 years. Households are facing impossible choices while dealing with the high costs of groceries, energy, and rent as well as other necessary expenses like child care and health care. Consequently, service levels in Columbus and Franklin County have increased dramatically in recent months, setting new records that far surpass those set during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mid-Ohio Food Collective is one of our City and Central Ohio’s most effective nonprofit partners,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “Quality food and housing are the two most basic needs that we work together to provide for families struggling to make ends meet.”
At the same time, MOFC itself is battling supply chain and inflationary issues that make it difficult to acquire enough food to meet the record levels of need. Available product from federal government sources is down dramatically, forcing MOFC to purchase more food while the cost for most products has increased substantially.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disastrous impact on families in Columbus. Two years later we continue to battle with COVID variants, a housing crisis and an economic downturn. The cost of food has soared leaving families to struggle to pay for their next meal. This is unacceptable,” says Councilmember Shayla Favor, Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. “We must do all that we can to make sure every family in Columbus and Central Ohio have access to safe and healthy food. I thank everyone at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective for their work and leadership in completing that mission.”
In response to these challenges, MOFC has also committed to spending $1 million of its general operating funds for the immediate purchase of additional groceries. This action, paired with the city’s timely investment of $1,000,000, will help MOFC to meet the increased needs of customers across its 20-county service area during these challenging times.
“The City of Columbus is a critical partner of Mid-Ohio Food Collective. Their leadership and support is helping to supply wholesome food to individuals, families, and seniors throughout Columbus,” said Matt Habash, President & CEO of Mid-Ohio Food Collective. “While we are very grateful for this support, we will need additional help to ensure that we can continue to feed our hungry neighbors.”