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Kathy Kelly Long is the Director of the Broad Street Food Pantry and a Food Justice Advocate. The Broad Street Food pantry is among one of the busiest on the east side of Columbus. We are open six days during the week and on average we serve 800 plus families during the month. What makes our pantry standout among the ones that operate in community is the emphasis that is placed on providing healthy food products and support services in this area.Kathy has made vital connections within the community with The Ohio State University and utilizes students in developing health related programs for our clients to participate in.
She also works tirelessly on advocating for justice for people who are reliant on SNAP benefits to provide food for their households. She educates people within our faith-based community and the community at large on what the issues are around Food Insufficiency and what they can do to help. She has also provided ways for people in the community to earn their service hours or required work hours to maintain their benefits by working in the pantry. She keeps everyone informed about the on-going fight to help people receive adequate funding for social net services.
The Broad Street Food Pantry sponsors numerous Farm Markets during the year. Thousands of pounds of fresh produce is distributed during these events. In addition to distributing produce on during these markets, health activities are also sponsored for people who attend. Once a month a community meal is prepared by the children who attend the Broad Street After School Program. Kathy and the student interns select recipes that the children use and work along with them to prepare meals that expose the children and our guest to different types of meals that are not only healthy but delicious as well. Our pantry also advocates that our clients cook fresh foods as much as possible. The Recipe Bonus Program provides additional fresh food products and a recipe that we encourage our clients to prepare on a monthly basis. There are also additional programs sponsored during the holiday seasons to help our neighbors have adequate food and other needed products during the year.
The Broad Street Food Pantry has evolved under Kathy Kelly Long's leadership from an outreach ministry that just distributes food to people in need to an outreach ministry that stresses health and advocacy for all.
This story was submitted as part of Oxam America's International Women's Day initiative to honor women working to right the wrongs of poverty and hunger. Honorees are selected independently by Oxfam supporters. Selection does not imply endorsement or other support from Oxfam America.
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