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Smith, Day, Holtmann Families Announce Mid-Ohio Food Bank Donation

The Ohio State University campus

From an Ohio State release.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In response to the increasing number of central Ohioans who are facing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three Ohio State athletics families are teaming up to provide much-needed funds to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and his wife, Sheila, head football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina, and head basketball coach Chris Holtmann and his wife, Lori, are joining to donate $35,000 a month between April and August – a total of $175,000 – to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The fund will help the food bank acquire and distribute food and supplies to existing families in need while also addressing the increased demand from families recently impacted by the health crisis.

For every dollar donated, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank is able to secure $9 worth of groceries. That means the $175,000 donation from the Smiths, Days and Holtmanns will result in more than $1.5 million worth of groceries for Ohioans in need. The three families are hoping their donation inspires other members of Buckeye Nation to contribute, as well

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“So many people in our community are struggling to feed their families right now,” Smith said. “Our families wanted to do something to support those who need help. By contributing to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, we know we can make a significant impact.”

Matt Habash, president and CEO of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, says the donation will go a long way in helping the food bank meet the surging need for assistance.

“We understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and that it will take months for many of our struggling neighbors to recover,” Habash said. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of these amazing families to be on this journey with us.”

The amount of food the Mid-Ohio Foodbank has distributed since March 23 is 14% more than the same period last year, a difference that will climb even higher in the coming weeks, Habash said. The food bank provides enough food for 150,000 meals a day across its 20-county service area, but that number has increased significantly in just the past three weeks.

“We keep reading about the thousands of central Ohioans who are losing their jobs, and it’s just devastating,” Nina Day said. “Ryan and I hope that our family can help ease the burden a bit for other families in our community. We hope, too, that by our example other members of Buckeye Nation might join us in making donations to feed others.”

All three families actively support numerous philanthropic organizations and causes throughout the year, but they wanted to do something additional that specifically helps people affected by COVID-19.

“Our families want to support the thousands of Ohio families who are struggling to make ends meet because of the coronavirus,” Chris Holtmann said. “The last thing they need to worry about is how they’ll put food on the table.”

Anyone interested in joining the Smiths, Days and Holtmanns in their families affected by COVID-19 can make a donation to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank at