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The next Cleveland Food Bank distribution is this Thursday

The food bank will be doing drives weekly going forward.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Food Bank has seen more people by the hundreds each time they've held a food drive during COVID-19. Their second drive moved to the municipal lot downtown to give them more room. That place will be their new home base going forward.

"We look at the data and we look at the people and we’re seeing more and more new families," says food bank CEO Kristin Warzocha. "Folks who have not needed help before from our network of partner agencies. At our last distribution a third of the families who came through had not been in need prior, and so I think that really speaks to the rising unemployment."

The next Cleveland Food Bank drive is this Thursday. Distribution will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., but the food bank will not allow lines to form before 2 p.m. The bank also plans to hold drives weekly going forward. This time, staff hopes you'll call ahead to give them your information as a kind of pre-registration system. The number to call is 216-738-2067, and you can also pre-register on their website here.

"One of the other reasons to call the help center is that if you live in another county or if you live on the west side of Cleveland, or the south side of Cleveland, or in Cuyahoga County, we may be able to connect you with an agency right in your neighborhood. Because the fact is, there are a lot of agencies that are still open and we want to make it as convenient for people as possible," says Warzocha.

She also points out there are other program to get food on people's tables.

"The other thing we can do is help folks apply for SNAP. So if lost your job or you're struggling to put food on the table, we may able to connect you with that vital resource which will give you some money to go to the grocery store and get that food that you need."

She also wants to remind people to just be patient when going through the lines. The National Guard and food bank workers are essential workers as well, putting themselves in harm's way and working 24/7 just as healthcare workers. Senator Nickie J. Antonio took notice, and now food bank workers are getting donated masks thanks to Berea quilting company Abigayle's Quiltery.

Part of this week's food will include Sugardale meat, too. Sugardale is scheduled to deliver 1,300 hams as part of their donation on Tuesday morning at 9am.

RELATED: City of Berea hosting food drive on Friday, April 3

RELATED: Free meals available Thursday for Medina County residents

RELATED: Greater Cleveland Food Bank seeing more first-time clients

RELATED: Cars line up hours before Greater Cleveland Food Bank drive-thru distribution

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