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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ross


ECEDC joins forces with local partners to fulfill anonymous donors' vision of supporting businesses and families in need this holiday season

Just a few days ago, generous community members shared their wish - Is there some way to support the small businesses that are suffering during this pandemic economy while also helping the families that are going hungry for the same reason? The donors pledged $10,000 to the Erie County Community Foundation to make this vision come to light.

Enlisting the expertise of Erie County Economic Development Corporation and OHgo, the Community Foundation has set up a system through which fresh meals are purchased from locally owned restaurants and distributed to children and families in need through OHgo’s mobile food pantry.

“With the help of partners like ECEDC and OHgo, we’ve been able to quickly develop a program that maximizes impact, reaching small business owners and families, and is easily replicable, as our neighbors will continue to need support as the effects of the pandemic settle in”, said Beth Maiden, Executive Director of the Erie County Community Foundation.

In total, 1,000 fresh meals will be distributed with this donation. Local restaurant owners eagerly answered the call to participate, turning around large orders with just days’ notice. Participating restaurants include: Better Half Diner, Cameo Pizza, Iron Pony, Mr. Smith’s, Penn Station, Sandusky Bay Pancake House, Sweet Potato Catering, The Fresh Pot, Tony’s, Vita Sandusky, Vermilion Country Club, and Zuppaman.

Meals from these restaurants will be distributed to families in need during socially-distant OHgo mobile food pantry events at: 2pm on December 21 at Battery Park, 2pm on December 21 at Harborview, and 4:30pm on December 23 at Battery Park.

“It’s an honor to coordinate a community-wide effort of this scale, especially at this important time of year. This will bring a nice boost to our local restaurants to close the year, and some extra comfort and security to hungry families for the holidays”, said Abbey Bemis, Executive Director of Erie County Economic Development Corporation.

Erie County Community Foundation, ECEDC, and OHgo would like to thank these generous donors for their contribution which ignited this innovative program, and remind everyone that the effects of the pandemic on Erie County’s businesses and families will continue long past the holiday season. A program like this, that leverages the strengths of several collaborating non-profits, enables maximum impact from any contribution.


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