Food Insecurity: A Focus for United for the Holidays

Volunteers helping address food insecurity at Islamic Food Bank

Written by Jon Dorcely

Jon Dorcely is the manager of outreach & engagement for United Way of Greater Toledo. If you would like to connect with him please email

December 20, 2022

United for the Holidays helps ALICE families experiencing food insecurity.


ALICE stands for asset limited, income constrained, employed, meaning they earn just above the federal poverty level yet struggle to afford basic expenses. Did you know 44% of residents in Lucas County and one-third of residents in Ottawa and Wood counties are either living in poverty or are considered ALICE?

As inflation and utility costs continue to rise, creating access to food is one of the easiest ways to free up family budgets so they may prioritize other bills. This is so important, especially this year, as more than 68,000 Lucas County residents, including 1 in 4 children, are experiencing food insecurity. Transportation to a food pantry is a significant barrier in our rural communities. That is why we are investing in solving this challenge for NW Ohio.

Through partnerships with Islamic Food Bank and Grace Community Center, we packed more than 560 meal kits containing two weeks of food for low-income families. A network of partners helped distribute meal kits in the neighborhoods they serve. Equally important, United Way of Greater Toledo embraces bringing organizations together to create a more significant impact.

Through your support, United Way is partnering with the University of Toledo to research these issues and find solutions. Thank you for making a difference in our community and ensuring residents enjoy meals with their friends and families. Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support and for helping address local families’ needs. Please visit our Health Impact page to learn more about or work in this area.

Community Sponsors: Nysus Solutions, Signature Bank, N.A., and Taylor Automotive Family.

Supporting Sponsors: Gilmore Jasion Mahler, Trust Company Family Offices, and UPS.

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