The pandemic changed all that. “For the past year, we have been distributing at least once a week,” explains founder and executive director Wendy Ford, who is also the mental health coordinator for Springboro City Schools. Ford created the SCAC in response to needs she saw that were impacting children and teens in Springboro classrooms.
During COVID, the organization moved away from the “choice model’' and began working outside, distributing various items based on family size. At the beginning of the crisis, Ford says, distributions were made three times a week. “As more industries learned how to operate safely, we were able to scale back to once a week. Now, there are still many people out of work, working reduced hours or impacted by higher costs of goods and services.”
“Most of the families who are helped are working hard to overcome the challenges of layoffs, single parenthood, or insufficient wages to support the family,” Ford says. “All of these issues directly impact the children and their ability to thrive at school and within the community.”
In addition to the weekly food distribution, SCAC has offered help with utility bills, gasoline and counseling on a wide variety of topics. SCAC also serves just over 100 children every week in its Backpack Program, where a backpack of food is sent home for the weekend with eligible children in the school district.
Food drives at local churches
Every month in 2021, a different church is hosting a food drive benefitting SCAC. This effort is being led by the Rev. Jed Dearing, pastor at St. Francis Episcopal Church, which held the first drive in January. Approximately 1,877 families were provided with more than 20,000 meals.
February’s drive was held at Southwest Church and March’s at Springboro United Church of Christ. On April 24-25, the drive will be held at Fairhaven Church, Springboro Campus (875 W. Central Ave.) and on May 1-2 it will be held at the First United Methodist Church (60 E. North St.).
“Our community has been amazing over the last 14 years, but especially during the last year when our need increased dramatically,” says Ford. “Our churches have always been at the forefront of efforts to keep our shelves stocked and we couldn’t be more grateful for their efforts this year.”
Future dates are still to be determined but the sites are: Covenant Presbyterian (June), Christ Church South Campus (July), Jubilee Church (August), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( October), Jubilee Church (November) and Newspring Church (December).
Heather Gosselin, who manages the inventory, says these are the most needed food items at this time:
- Canned fruit
- Canned vegetables
- Canned chicken and tuna
- Canned ravioli and spaghetti
- Canned soup, stew and chili
- Peanut butter
- Canned spaghetti sauce
- Instant oatmeal
Other needed items:
- Body wash
- Laundry detergent and dryer sheets
- Dishwasher detergent and dish soap
- Cleaners (toilet bowl cleaner, glass cleaner, multipurpose cleaners, disinfectant cleaners and wipes, and floor cleaners)
You can always donate by placing items in the bins outside the facility in the Educare Building next to Springboro Junior High School, 1605 Main St.
“Every donation is helpful, and nothing is too small,” says Gosselin. All donations are tax deductible.
Other ways to help
- You can donate cash through PayPal or donate by check or gift card through the mail: SCAC, P.O. Box 1042, Springboro, Ohio 45066
- You can also donate to one of the partners hosting a food drive. Follow the organization on Facebook for information about upcoming food drives and other events.
- Donate while you shop by registering your Kroger Plus card or your Dorothy Lane Market Club card to benefit SCAC.
- The most up to date list of items most needed is posted on the website: springborocommunityassistance.org/what-we-need/
Readers, thanks for the books!
Chip Houghton, a volunteer with Project READ, wrote to thank our readers for the great response to the Make a Difference on his organization.
“I was called by our store operations board member telling me that your article had the phone ringing,” he writes. “I already have a couple book pickups tomorrow and the best story is the woman who called to tell us she was going to take a bus down to our Donation Center on Lyons Road to drop off some books!”
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: email@example.com.
Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.