United Way of the Ohio Valley, volunteers, and donors convened virtually at 11:00am on Tuesday May 4, 2021 to discuss successes from the 2020 calendar year, as well as the future of United Way knowing that 2020 was a difficult year with many of us adjusting how we conducted business…working from home and wearing masks to protect one another. We also learned a great deal about ourselves. We learned to be flexible and fluid, we looked after each other more than ever and demonstrated how much we care for our community and neighbors.
United Way of the Ohio Valley serves six counties in the GRADD region; they include Hancock, Ohio, Union, Webster, McLean, and Daviess Counties. From the beginning of the pandemic United Way never stopped working. Continuing each day while strengthening areas of coordination, efficiency and collaboration to programs in our communities.
Approximately $2.8 million was raised for United Way of the Ohio Valley in 2020. This is a record year for the organization. The combination of annual campaigns, the Green River Area Covid-19 Response Fund, Cares Act, Giving Tuesday, Early Childhood Council, and Emergency Food & Shelter Programs made this possible!
Although we will continue to fund the programs in our region based on Health, Education, and Financial Stability resources, we are also proud to announce that we are going to be investing $200,000 into Hunger Relief.
Keynote Speak Dr. Ryan Quarles, Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky, joined us today on the call to discuss what efforts the State is accomplishing towards hunger insecurities. He announced that before Covid-19 pandemic the number of individuals that went without knowing where to get their next meal was 1 in 7. Since Covid-19 this number has increased drastically and is now 1 in 5 with a 30% increase in the number of Kentucky families going to foodbanks.
There is a bigger need for access to food and United Way of the Ohio Valley’s Hunger Steering Committee is dedicated to changing those statistics in our region, beginning with the investment of $200,000. Changing community conditions so everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food and no one will have to worry if they will have food for their next meal.
We envision partnerships throughout the nodes of the food supply chain. From suppliers such as farms, grocery stores, farmer markets to food banks, pantries, backpack programs, soup kitchens and directly to those that are hungry. This project has to work with each part of the food supply chain and the thousands of people involved in its success.
The support United Way receives is like a Farm. It takes work and time to prepare the soil and create the foundation for success. When the soil is right, you plant the seed. You make sure it has the nutrition, the water, and the sun which gives us hope the seed will sprout and begin to grow. As it is looked after weeds may try to choke it out but mentors, leasers, and non-profit team members are there to lend a hand to ensure it grows strong and true. Overtime, the flower, the fruit of your efforts is seen and shared with the world. As you watch the crops growing this year remember, you planted the seed of hope and opportunity into the lives of children, families and seniors and they too will bear fruit and share their bounty with others. Live United.