Community members discussed the problems facing those in need of food at the Ross County Hunger Summit.
Representatives from a number of area agencies, churches, food pantries, and other organizations attended the Ross County Hunger Summit, Tuesday. At the forum, community members gathered at the Carver Community Center and shed light on the hunger issue.
"We know that hunger is a growing problem; it's in our nation, in our state, and right here in our own community," said Mary Elsass, Executive Director of United Way.
She cited a statistic that indicates one in four children in Ohio is hungry: "That's just not right, but that's why we're here - to do something about it."
Bob Gallaugher, with Ross County Job and Family Services, said many people are reluctant to ask for assistance: "We need to do more and more effective and more humble and compassionate outreach to those in our community who can't quite get up the nerve to ask for help."
One issue facing local food pantries, however, is a lack of funding or donations.
In a related note, those who receive Food Assistance, formerly known as Food Stamps, can expect to see fewer benefits beginning in April.
The decrease is the result of a statewide decrease in the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA), which is a fixed amount established by the Federal Government. The new amount of the SUA is $533 down from $599.
Costs of utilities from the last adjustment in 2010 have decreased on average, thus lowering the standard and benefit amount.