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Hello Advocate,

Meet Walter. Walter came to the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati as a client around the time it first opened in 1971. At that time, Walter had lost his job and had five children at home. After receiving services, he started volunteering his time with the Freestore Foodbank and soon after became a paid employee. Walter eventually moved on to other work.

Walter came back to the Freestore Foodbank for the 2011 Thanksgiving Food Distribution -- once again facing hard times.

Watch this video to learn more about his story.

Advocates for Ohio's Future needs your help to collect more stories about emergency food assistance. Will you share your story with OhioSPEAKS today?

Unfortunately, Walter is not alone. From December 2007 to May 2011, the number of hungry Ohioans increased by 58 percent. In May 2011, more than 1.75 million Ohioans were enrolled in SNAP (the food stamp program). Poverty data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau show the high rate of poverty among Ohioans, particularly the aging population. Click here to see the poverty rate by county of Ohioans age 55 years and older. The numbers show the rising need among Ohioans, but we also need individual stories, like Walter's, to illustrate the value of food assistance programs to lawmakers, the media, and the public.

Will you take a moment to share your story -- as a consumer or provider -- today? Click here to write your story or upload a video.

Please forward this email to food pantries, foodbanks, and families in your community to give them the opportunity to get involved and share their story.

To stay on our mailing list but opt out of upcoming communication for the OhioSPEAKS project, just click here.

Will Petrik, Outreach Director