During the holidays, some of the associates at Weston had the opportunity to tour The Cleveland Foodbank. Along with myself were Suzanne Broadbent, Director of Sales & Marketing, and Mark Horton, President of Weston Development. We were visiting that day to deliver the food and monetary donations which Weston had collected in our fundraising effort this past holiday season. Mark has a special relationship with the food bank, as he was the project manager when the new facility was built in 2004. The building has the distinction of being christened the first Green building in Cleveland by the US Green Building Council of Energy & Environmental Design.
Upon arriving, the three of us were given a tour by Alan Fratus, the volunteer coordinator. Sue and I were amazed by the size and capacity of the building, and all the food that it was able to house. In the 2010 fiscal year, the Cleveland Foodbank distributed a record-breaking 32.9 million pounds of food to more than 600 member programs in six Northeast Ohio counties. The building is spotless, from the kitchen to the warehouse, and ran with strict attention to detail. As we walked, Alan provided us with some interesting facts. We learned were that with just one dollar, the food bank with its resources can provide 4 full meals for one person. With one dollar, they can purchase 15 cans of tuna, or 9 jars of peanut butter. It truly is a reflection of the motto displayed prominently in their entryway,” Grain by grain, a loaf; stone by stone, a castle”. Even the gift of one dollar makes a difference in the life of someone who is hungry.
The Foodbank sponsors many volunteer programs aimed at corporations. On the day we visited, PNC Bank and Cleveland City Council were there assisting in The Backpack Program, wherein volunteers pack a backpack with enough food for 6 meals, and school personnel discreetly send it home each Friday with children who are in need of food over the weekend. This is just one of the volunteer programs that the food bank offers. Also, their state of the art industrial-sized kitchen prepares and delivers hot and nutritious meals daily for those in need and unable to leave their home. The top floor of the facility holds a conference area large enough to host fundraisers or large-scale meetings.
As we at Weston, a Cleveland Commercial Real Estate company, look into volunteering our time to this wonderful and worthwhile cause, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our friends and associates who assisted us in our holiday food drive. It was a success due in large part to your generosity and caring. We thank you sincerely for your support.
~Written by: Kacey Shea of Weston Inc.