OASHF Programs

The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF) is Ohio’s largest charitable food assistance network. The OASHF is a statewide member supported organization, representing the 12 certified America’s Second Harvest Foodbanks distributing food and grocery items to over 3,000 member charities in all 88 Ohio counties. Member agencies consist of food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other charitable emergency food assistance programs that supplied over 81.6 million pounds of food to over 4.4 million individuals in 1.9 million low-income households during 2002. (Duplicated units of services reported)

The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks operates two unique statewide programs, a food purchasing program and a program that makes surplus agricultural products available to Foodbanks.  This program also helps the agricultural community effectively deal with its surpluses. The OASHF also provides funding to help strengthen the infrastructure of the emergency food providers by providing capacity building grants to member charities. (See how the food chain works.)

The food provided through the Ohio Food Program (OFP) and Ohio Agricultural Clearance Program (OACP) are critical components in our networks ability to provide highly nutritional proteins, shelf stable foods, fruits and vegetables to the low-income children, adults and seniors we serve. What is the product and where the food come from?  These food items supplement the distribution of food products acquired through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), private purchases, local food and fund drives, industry and individual donations.

 Who are our partners? 

How can I partner with the Ohio Agricultural Clearance Program?

These cost effective programs are funded through a biennial appropriation from the Ohio General Assembly within the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) budget. These programs are highly successful examples of public/private partnerships that leverage public funds in the acquisition and distribution of over 40 million pounds of wholesome nutritious foods since beginning in the 1998/99 state fiscal year. The alliances that have been formed through these two programs bring together the Ohio Department of Job and Family Service, Ohio Department of Agriculture, farmers, growers, processors, food producers and supporters with Foodbanks, emergency food providers, and the low-income Ohioans who receive the food they need to feed themselves and their families.

Although much has been done to address the needs of Ohio’s hungry, much more still needs to be done. All resources under the charge of the OASHF end up in the hands and mouths of those who need it. Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans depend on this food in order to help them find the road to self-sufficiency.

In addition, to operating the state funded food programs the OASHF maintains a unique position in Ohio through its public education and awareness campaigns, direct advocacy and research projects.

These programs include annual studies that allow those being served by the emergency food assistance network to be heard. These research projects include the No Names Please Survey and Hunger in Ohio: People, Issues, and Solutions. OASHF also publishes and distributes literature to assist low-income Ohioans and member agencies navigate public benefits programs. This includes the recently released, Food Stamp Access Kit, a complete how-to guide for community based organizations and low-income Ohioans which explains how to access the food stamp program.  

OASHF also provides technical assistance, trainings, and conferences for staff and volunteers of faith-based and community based organizations engaged in the delivery of emergency food assistance.

For additional information, please contact the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks at 614.221.4336 or e-mail us at [email protected].

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the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks.