Helping those in need: Local organizations set up free food banks in Cleveland


CLEVELAND (WJW) — While many people are facing tough situations they never thought they’d be in, Clevelanders are continuing to show up for one another.

“People don’t have resources so we want to get people resources,” said Billy Sharp, CEO of Mastering Generosity Unlimited (MGU).

Members of Mt. Gillion Missionary Baptist Church and MGU hosted a free emergency food bank on Saturday with items from the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. 

“287 bags and plus of food to give away to the community such a blessing,” said Pastor Nathan Nance.  

People had the option to drive up, walk up or schedule home delivery in advance.

“Everyone has been overjoyed that the church is doing something like this and to feel that, hey even if my money is short or what have you, I have some extra help,” he said.

They welcomed all Clevelanders but knew having something set up in the area was crucial.

“People in this community have a hard time getting to the food bank so we wanted a central location at least for this community where people can come to,” said Sharp.

Along with the food, absentee ballots for the rescheduled primary and census forms were given out to give people easier access to perform their civic duties.

They plan to continue these food banks at the church on the first and second Saturdays of the month. You can find more information and reach out for deliveries on their Facebook page

The generosity spanned from Cleveland’s east to west side as people tried to help their community and spread a little hope during these challenging times.

The Cleveland Hope Exchange and Journey Church provided more than 24,000 pounds of free food and resources to the Clark/Fulton neighborhood.

Partnerships with the Cleveland Browns, defensive end Myles Garrett, Town Hall and businessman Bobby George, Walmart, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Councilwoman Jasmin Santana helped make the event possible.

Fresh produce, dry food, products, hygiene kits, and kids activities were given out.

“We can do more together than alone. In moments like this if we don’t pull together, we’re in trouble,” said Pastor Jim Wilkes of Journey Church.

They also offered drive up and home delivery options.

Councilwoman Santana says 65% of her residents make less than $23,000 a year and many have more than 3 children.

“At a time like this, they’re working paycheck to paycheck of many of them aren’t working at this time. So they don’t have food in the home so right now we’re in a place where you’re choosing between risking your health or not feeding your kids,” she said.

More than 5,000 Lillies were donated by Green Circle Growers for people to bring home and brighten their day.

“A symbol that we care, that we will continue to show up and that this is not a one-time thing, that the Cleveland Hope Exchange, and Journey Church and our partners, we’re here to stay,” said Cleveland Hope Exchange Executive Director Megan Gallagher.

Gallagher said there will be a ‘Hope Day’ free food drive hosted every month. You can find more information and contact them here.

In addition to this outreach, the partnering groups hope to raise $20,000 for further outreach to the marginalized people of Cleveland. This Emergency Relief Fund will be an opportunity to continue to bring hope to those who need it most.

More information about the Cleveland Hope Exchange can be found at and donations can be made to the Cleveland Hope Exchange/CLE Emergency Relief Fund by visiting

The Cleveland Hope Exchange will continue to hold ‘Hope Days’ on the 4th Saturday of each month. You can find the schedule and other events here:

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