Letters to the Editor: Ending homelessness will take decades, not years
Published 11:03 pm, Tuesday, April 1, 2013
On February 5, 2013, I attended the dedication ceremony of the Community Food Security Project of Greater Cincinnati.
The project is an exciting initiative to develop an improved access to food pantries for the low-income community and to connect the work of the project with a network of existing local food pantries.
I was pleased to see the dedicated members of the volunteer staff, local business and community leaders, and other volunteers, who put their best efforts into making this project a success.
The project is unique and special because it is the first successful attempt to create a partnership between a non-profit, the community, and a city government or agency for the mutual benefit of the volunteers and the community.
It is a great opportunity for the volunteer staff at the Community Food Security Project to be better prepared the next time they serve the poor.
We need to take it one step further and have an in-house system of food pantries and community resources where food is a first line of defense for the homeless community.
The program will be successful for the long term. It is just a matter of time.
Cincinnati is already home to dozens of community pantries, food pantries, soup kitchens and food bank initiatives.
The program will be made even stronger by having a Food Stamps provider in each of the community pantries.
This will give the volunteers, who may not have food stamps, the ability to purchase food or other necessities.
This program is the beginning of a process that will take years, and not months or years, to fully transform Cincinnati into an urban city where everyone knows the food security of all its residents.
The Cincinnati Enquirer recently reported how the poverty rate in the city has reached 43.3 percent, double the citywide average.
In a city where a new food bank was found to be feeding an average of 25 percent of individuals who do not have food stamps, it is apparent that poverty must be addressed at the grassroots.
The best way to do this is to have a system of food pantries and other resources to put these people directly in touch with those resources.
That is how the Community Food Security Project has chosen to approach the problem.
As the program develops, I look forward to reading