2015-16 Episcopal Service Corps member Katie Blodgett has been placed with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks (OAFB), a fantastic partner organization that has been with Confluence since the beginning! This week you will have the chance to learn all about the impactful work OAFB does and Katie’s role in the organization.
OAFB is Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger. It serves 12 member foodbanks, which have a collective 3,300 member agencies among them, like homeless shelters and soup kitchens. The Association operates the Ohio Food Program, which makes sure that shelf-stable food is available to its member food banks, and the Agriculture Clearance Program gets surplus, sometimes “cosmetically challenged” agriculture products to the food banks. The Association also operates a national Navigator program and the Ohio Benefit Bank. The Associate seeks to advocate for policies that help Ohioans out of poverty, seeks to educate policy makers on poverty and hunger, and seeks to engage in conversations that involve real change and investment.
Follow OAFB here…..
“I work on a plethora of projects, ranging from helping create a Hunger Caucus to brainstorming new ideas for the Summer Food Service Program Summit. I stay up-to-date on current events and the happenings regarding food policy, and get to visit the statehouse about once a week with Lisa, the executive director.
Being at the Ohio Association of Foodbanks has really forced me to grow and has stretched me in many ways. I am partially in the advocacy department, a place that I have never considered being in before. I am so much more involved in policy and current events than I’ve been before, and it has really forced me to be educated and to actually have a stance on things. Being placed here required me to become really acquainted with all of the intertwining issues of poverty, hunger, lack of health care, and many more.
I have been given a lot of freedom to identify projects that I think will be interesting and helpful, while having a chance to get out of the office and visit foodbanks and member food pantries. The Association has a lot of departments focused on many different things, but I really appreciate and love how passionate everyone seems to be about justice for everyone. Everyone should have the chance to better themselves, and it is inspiring being around so many people who are trying to help those on the fringes get ahead.
I have loved having the opportunity to go to the Statehouse and sit in on so many meetings and see a side of things I never thought I would have interest in. Being here at the Association has definitely made me a more well-informed person and has made me passionate about people’s access to the most basic of needs: food, education, and health care. I am looking forward to the rest of my year, and how my ideas will continue to change and evolve.”
“This is me and Kristine Dugan, the Manager of Internal Affairs. She does a lot of work regarding HR, and has been really helpful in coaching me through working for a big organization. Kristine also gives me lots of food recipes and inspiration, and is always a source of laughter and joy at work.”
Episcopal Service Corps member, Katie Blodgett’s placement site, Ohio Association of Foodbanks, is Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger, representing a network of 12 regional foodbanks, 3,300 local emergency food programs, and 2 million different Ohioans who seek help from those food pantries and soup kitchens each year. The association advocates for equitable public policy to decrease poverty and hunger in Ohio. They invite you to engage with them by signing up for their action alerts, so you can join in during call-in days and stay connected to the issues that impact the vulnerable people they serve:
The association directly fights hunger through a variety of hunger and poverty relief programs, but they also believe in the importance of fighting the stigmas that too often come with living in poverty or struggling with hunger. Consider joining them on Facebook and Twitter to help elevate the voices of individuals and families that aren’t always heard. If you’d like to get involved in hunger relief through volunteering, you can visit the association’s website to find your local foodbank and learn about upcoming opportunities: http://ohiofoodbanks.org/foodbanks/.