With the need for food increasing throughout the community combined with a dramatic decrease in donations to Feed Lake County, United Way of Lake County is partnering with Laketran and city of Willoughby to attempt to Fill-that-Bus at the Earth Day weekend Eco-Fair to increase donations to the nonprofit organization's annual spring food drive.
With a goal to fill a 40 foot bus, Laketran will be parked outside of Willoughby City Hall April 26, from 8 a.m. to noon during the city's Eco-Flea Market day and United Way of Lake County is encouraging residents to bring food items to Fill that Bus. The Willoughby Police and Fire Departments will be on-site to help haul food donations.
In 2013, 2-1-1 reported 8,342 calls for food. This was more than 3,000 calls for food in 2012 and nearly 5,000 more calls for food in 2011. One in every six residents in Lake County struggles with hunger. The most requested food items are boxed or canned meals, spaghetti sauce, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, canned fruit and tuna.
Feed Lake County usually raises about 40,000 pounds of food and $40,000 in donations each campaign. The food is distributed to more than 50 local food pantries. The donated dollars buy food throughout the year including two major purchases in September and December.