One Friday morning many years ago, I was waiting for a meeting to begin at the offices of Northeast Shores Development Corporation, the organization representing North Collinwood, and overheard the staff discussing area school children picking up backpacks at that location. Curious, I asked why. The staff explained that neighborhood students stop by on Fridays to pick up backpacks of food for the weekend. Welcome to my wake-up call. Hunger was happening here, down the street from me, in Cleveland. It’s unthinkable.
As the acting director of Cleveland Independents, a group of 90 locally owned independent restaurants, I work with chefs and restaurateurs who donate their services in some way every day. As part of our efforts to give back to the community, we coordinate the annual Cookies for Kids, a one-day promotion—this year set for June 7—which donates 100% of the event’s cookie sales proceeds to area food banks.
During the summer, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and its more than 900 partner programs are at their busiest, providing for low-income children and their families. Low-income children who rely on school breakfast and lunch programs during the school year are often left without enough to eat in the summer.
A single $2.50 cookie will feed one child for a day. With the help of programs like ours, the Food Bank will be able to provide meals at more than 100 sites this summer.
Cleveland Independents has helped raised $8,355 and has provided more than 33,420 meals since the organization began partnering with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank in 2015 to promote Cookies for Kids. Please help us expand upon those efforts on June 7 at these participating restaurants.