Mentor Schools Food Market

Mentor Schools Food Market

Read how this effort has helped many in our community and gotten attention for our district

This year, Mentor High School has been hosting a food market for not only families of students but for the community at large. By working with Heinens, The Greater Cleveland Food Bank, United Way of Lake County, Mentor District departments, and various community partners and local food pantries, Mentor Schools have distributed over 39,000 fresh pounds of food! The market is held in front of the Jerome T. Osborne Stadium, on the Mentor High School Campus at 6477 Center Street. The dates, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., are once a month, and are listed below.

November 30, 2023

December 21, 2023

January 25, 2024

February 22, 2024

March 28, 2024

April 25, 2024

May 23, 2024

June 27, 2024

July 25, 2024

Dr. Joe Glavan plays a crucial role in the progression of the food market, as he “oversees the Mentor School Food Market initiative” and organizes the distribution. He is the leader of the communication with the donors, and ensures that there is enough food for everybody. He was kind enough to answer some questions for us.

Cardinal Nation: What was the inspiration to start the food market?

Dr. Glavan: When the Federal Government eliminated free lunch for all, an initiative that was started during COVID to provide meals to students and families during the school year and summer months, [I] and our Nutrition Services Director, Ginni Vacarro, began discussions of what we could do to ensure students and families received food when school was not in session and families may not have access to daily meals. We reached out to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and applied to become a School Food Market, which would allow us to not only help our Mentor Schools families, but any community member in need.

Cardinal Nation: What difference do you feel it is making in the community?

Dr. Glavan: I am grateful that Mentor Schools has created this opportunity for our community to come together to help so many in need. It has been very rewarding to see our community partners and students assist in each of the food markets and help give back to our community that we deeply care about and see first hand the value of community service. In just over 5 months, we have already distributed over 39,000 pounds of food to families. In order to help with planning for future Food Markets, we track how much food was distributed and how many community members were impacted. While some of these figures represent returning households or family members, over the past 5 months we have collectively helped:
1,203 households
1,769 children
1,893 adults
822 Seniors

Cardinal Nation: How much food is your distribution goal?

Dr. Glavan: Starting with an initial 6,000 lbs of food at our first food market, we have consistently run out of produce before the end of each food market. After steadily increasing each month, we are now scheduled to distribute 12,000 lbs of produce at each food market to best meet the needs of the community. We have also partnered with local food pantries and if there ever is any left over food, it will be delivered to either the St. John Vianney Food Pantry or the St. Gabriel Food Pantry.

Cardinal Nation: What kinds of produce can people find at the food market?

Dr. Glavan: The produce is varied each month and depends on what is in season. We have had a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables including apples, bananas, peppers, potatoes, and even pumpkins during one of our fall Food Markets!

There have been numerous articles over the food market, including the News Herald’s “Mentor Schools Food Market Initiative Prepares for Second Food Market,” and “Mentor Schools Food Market Set to Help Community Members in Need” In addition, Yahoo!FinanceĀ posted “Mentor Schools Food Market gets off to strong startĀ “. In addition, many posted photos, as attached, on X, facebook, youtube, and as featured by the News Herald.

Thank you to all the workers at the Food Market for helping our community!

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