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Annual Harvest for Hunger food drive kicks off as 3News' Isabel Lawrence wins supermarket challenge

WKYC Studios is a media partner for in the campaign.

CLEVELAND — There is a new urgency to this year’s Harvest for Hunger drive, a collaboration organized by four local food banks for the past 30 years.

The annual event will help Northeast Ohio food banks manage not only the increased demand for services, but rising food costs as well. Harvest for Hunger 2022 began Thursday morning with a "celebrity supermarket challenge" as members of the media -- including 3News' Isabel Lawrence -- battled in the "supermarket challenge" to see who can pack the best bag of groceries.

Isabel won the competition!

In past years, $1 given to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank would provided up to four nutritious meals for people experiencing hunger. This year due to high food costs, that number has dropped to three meals.  

“The need is still high. I know the pandemic has lasted for almost two years now. And we are still serving more people now than we did before the pandemic,” says Karen M. Pozna, director of communications & special events at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “We are seeing our food costs increase anywhere upwards of 20-25 percent, so this campaign really is going to go to help to make sure that we can purchase the food we need to continue to meet that need."

Harvest for Hunger is coordinated by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.

There are a variety of ways to get involved in Harvest for Hunger including:

  • Hosting a virtual employee food & fund drive, companies can match employee donations and participate in group volunteering projects.
  • Get involved in Check Out Hunger, a cashier-led fundraising effort in grocery stores across the region. This option gives customers the opportunity to donate at the register. Participating stores include Buehler’s, Dave’s Markets, Fisher Foods, Giant Eagle, GetGo, Heinen’s Grocery Store, and Lucky’s Market.
  • Give a monetary donation to your local food bank.

Last year, the campaign raised more than $9 million.

“As long as the need is out there, we cannot rest,” says Pozna. “Our goal this year is to raise 9.5 million dollars.”

For more information on the campaign, click here

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*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report. 

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