On Thursday, United Way of Lake County distributed $20,000 worth of food to 51 food pantries and residential facilities across the county as part of its 2012 Feed Lake County Campaign.
Eleven of the pantries to receive donations are headquartered in Mentor.
Overall, the 2012 Feed Lake County Campaign raised about 45,188 pounds of food and $62,000 in cash. Cash donations to Feed Lake County are used throughout the year to make purchases for the food pantries.
The majority of the food donations were distributed to food pantries in April however there are also distributions around the holiday season.
The food pantries continue to see an increase in demand. Last year, more than 6,000 people used the food pantry system and between 700 and 1,100 residents needed help on a weekly basis.
These food pantries report they are seeing 10 to 20 new visitors each week. Many first time social service clients are 40 to 50 years old, have lost their jobs, exhausted their benefits and are looking desperately for somewhere to turn.
United Way of Lake County always accepts food or cash donations, which can be sent to 9285 Progress Parkway, Mentor, OH 44060. Those in need of food can call 2-1-1 to be referred to a local food pantry.