Oyler is among the schools that has partnered with several local anti-poverty agencies, including the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, the city health department and the Freestore Foodbank, to help children growing up in poverty get basic needs, such as basic medical care and food.
Oyler is one of 80 sites for the Freestore's Power Pack program, which provides two or three nutritious meals for children on weekends. In 2009-10, the Freestore gave out 74,000 packs, a number that increased to 127,000 the next school year and is expected to increase this year, said Anna Hogan, Freestore communications manager.
More than 1 in 5 children in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are at risk of missing their next meal. Data from a Feeding America analysis of the Freestore Foodbank's service area showed late this summer that 22.3 percent of local children (under 18) are food insecure.
I've been pondering what to do for Thanksgiving this year. Volunteer in a soup kitchen, buy more canned goods than usual for the food banks, put together packs of medical supplies / toiletries or simply donate money. There are so many in need and it seems each winter is getting colder and colder. I can't imagine how hard it is for some and I want to make a difference.