Lucas County is facing serious issues regarding poverty and hunger.
25 percent of Toledo's population is living in poverty.
37 percent of the individuals in Lucas County live at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, including 30,000 children.
More than 85,000 residents of Lucas County are "Food Insecure." A total of 35 percent of them are children under 18. One out of 10 of those children are under age 5.
Toledo Free Press, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Hollywood Casino Toledo, Wells Fargo Advisors, and other partners are organizing a yearlong initiative, "Free From Hunger," to benefit three local charities whose mission is to feed needy citizens in Lucas County: Food for Thought, Feed Lucas County Children and Cherry Street Mission.
There cannot be an honest dialogue about education and economic development when so many of our citizens are dealing with basics, such as hunger and nutrition.
Through "Free from Hunger," we hope to raise awareness and make a direct impact on our community. We thank WTOL for the opportunity to speak with you the past two weeks and we ask you to join us in contributing to solutions, not just dwelling on problems, to move our community forward.