69% of households served by the Feeding America Network of foodbanks will have to choose between food and utilities this winter.

Warm home, empty cupboards? This is a reality for many Ohioans struggling with paying increased heating and utility costs during the winter months. In the last two years, the Southeast Ohio Foodbank, a program of Hocking Athens Perry Community Action, has seen an increase in the number of individuals served through member food pantries and soup kitchens during the winter months, as compared to summer months.

In the United States, more than 69% of households served by Foodbanks choose between food and utilities, according to a Feeding America study. With temperatures hitting record lows this winter more and more families are forced to leave heat running, purchase more firewood or fill propane tanks more often. This increase in utilities can create a problem for families living paycheck to paycheck.

No one should have to make the tough choice between staying warm and putting food on the table.

The Southeast Ohio Foodbank and its network of over sixty food pantries and soup kitchens are committed to reducing the burden of food insecurity from families faced with these tough choices. Mobile food distributions, pantries, and soup kitchens exist throughout the region to help fill the meal gap. Families in need of emergency food assistance can call 740-385-6813 for a list of agencies in their community.