Frequently Asked Questions

A list of our most asked Question about Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Question:  What is Mid-Ohio Foodbank?

Answer: The Foodbank is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to feeding hungry people by collecting and distributing food and grocery products, educating the community about hunger, advocating for hunger-relief programs, and collaborating with others who address basic human needs. The Foodbank is a member of Feeding America and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and strives to make food accessible to all people.
Question:  What kinds of feeding programs do you serve?

Answer: The Foodbank serves a variety of programs (over 550 across 20 Ohio counties) including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, after-school programs and senior meal sites, in addition to several mobile market sites and produce distributions that are scheduled throughout the year.
Question:  Does the Foodbank sell food?

Answer:
The Foodbank does not sell donated food. Donated food is distributed to agencies meeting our criteria for participation. These agencies contribute a small per pound shared maintenance (or handling fee) to help offset Foodbank transportation services. They pay nothing for donated food. A special purchase program does allow participating agencies the opportunity to buy, at our cost with an added discount, key items that may not be available through donations. These items include a variety of things ranging from protein items to personal care products.
Question:  What are the criteria for selection of participating agencies?

Answer:
  Feeding programs must be operated by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Food must be distributed to our hungry neighbors at no cost. Also, food programs sign an agreement not to barter, sell, or misuse any product they receive from the Foodbank. Per state and federal regulations, eligible client families must have income below 200% of the Federal Poverty numbers, be residents of Ohio, and provide identification for each member of the household they are claiming. For example, a family of four making $46,099 or less a year would be eligible to receive food.
Question:  Does the Foodbank work directly with needy people?

Answer: 
We do have an on-site pantry that serves as an opportunity to help families in our community and explore strategies to build capacity throughout our network. However, the main responsibility of the Foodbank is as a liaison between the food industry and feeding programs. The Foodbank distributes food to more than 550 feeding programs, which then give it to hungry Ohioans.
Question:  How is the Foodbank funded?

Answer:
  Approximately 70 percent of the Foodbank’s total funding consists of private donations from individuals, foundations and corporations and organizations. Most of the remaining 30 percent of the Foodbank’s consists of handling fees and government reimbursement for specific USDA programs we help administer.
Question:  Where does the food come from?

Answer:
  Food is donated by a variety of sources. It comes from food manufacturers and distributors, grocery stores, Ohio farmers and community food drives, among other sources. National product donations are also obtained through Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic charitable hunger-relief organization with more than 200 affiliate food banks.
Question:  What types of food do you distribute?

Answer:
The Foodbank makes a variety of food available to our partner feeding sites. In addition to non-perishable foods (cans and boxes), the Foodbank provides produce, dairy and meat products (fresh and frozen). These perishable foods now make up more than half of our distribution.
Question:  Do you distribute only food?

Answer:  
No. We also distribute cleaning supplies, toiletry items, paper products and other non-food products.
Question:  What are some reasons why food/product is donated from the food industry?

Answer:  Food is donated for many reasons, including mislabeling, incorrect weight, incorrect ingredients/seasoning, damaged or seasonal packaging, over production, nearing an expiration date and product not selling.
Question:  Does the Foodbank have enough food to meet the need?

Answer:
No. Requests for assistance have gone up 49% since the end of 2008 and our network has worked hard to try to keep up. Items in our inventory move very quickly- especially those in high demand such as peanut butter and tuna.
Question:  How much food can the Foodbank accommodate?

Answer:
With our 176,000 square foot warehouse, the Foodbank can handle almost any size donation, whether it is frozen, refrigerated, or dry. We distribute more than 48 million pounds of food and grocery products annually and hope to increase that number to 60 million pounds by 2015. Our goal is to close the meal gap by 2018, which would increase distribution significantly.
Question:   Does the Foodbank have the capabilities to pick up food donations?

Answer:
Yes.The Foodbank owns several different vehicles including refrigerated trailers, allowing us to pick up almost any size donation. Our trucks run daily routes in the metro area and have regular drop-offs scheduled in the rural areas we serve.
Question:  Do food/product donations fluctuate during the year?

Answer: 
Product donations do go up and down during the year. While donations fluctuate, the demand for food for hungry Ohioans remains constant throughout the year. Food is needed both in the winter and the summer. It is normal for donations to go up around the holiday season because it is traditionally a time of giving.
Question:  Why does the Foodbank do food & fund drives?

Answer: 
Food and fund drives are a great way for individuals, business, community organizations and schools to become involved and support the Foodbank in assisting our hungry neighbors in the community. Food drives help the Foodbank obtain much-needed shelf stable products.
Question:  What’s better to donate, food or funds?

Answer:
Because of our bulk purchasing and industry relationships, the Foodbank is able to supply $11 worth of groceries for every $1 that is donated.