Photo by Adam Ploof
by Cassie Mattia
Loveland, Ohio – The Easter Weekend Food Drive proved nothing is sweeter than Loveland, Ohio!
On Saturday, April 16th in the heart of Downtown Loveland under the historic clock tower we kicked off our first ever Easter Weekend Food Drive benefiting LIFE Food Pantry! I had wanted to lend my time and energy to the LIFE Food Pantry for months, so when LIFE communicated that they were in desperate need of food and that food drives were the best way to gather that much-needed food I knew that this was my chance to give back to a community that had supported me throughout my time with Loveland Magazine.
Once I decided that I was going to organize a food drive I immediately reached out to the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance all-star duo CeeCee Collins and Meredith Taylor. They almost instantly agreed to help with the food drive as they both said that there was nothing more fulfilling than giving back to the community. I was overjoyed by their response and shortly after began working on the logistics.
I knew that I wanted the food drive to be on a day where there would be a lot of foot traffic on the Loveland Bike Trail but also envisioned doing it on a day that meant something. After brainstorming with CeeCee and Meredith, we landed on having the food drive on Easter Weekend! Having the food drive during Easter Weekend to me meant that I could help families less fortunate have the opportunity to celebrate Easter like my family and I had been lucky enough to do for the past several decades.
One of the biggest deciding factors in having a food drive during this particular time of year was because LIFE Food Pantry is almost always in desperate need of food donations due to a slower rate of donations coming in. To put it in perspective, just by holding this one food drive on Easter Weekend, we not only helped provide “staples” and everyday necessities to local families that then freed up money in their budgets so that they could celebrate a holiday like Easter, we also gave these same local families the opportunity to buy Easter candy for their baskets, decorate eggs, enjoy a beautiful Easter brunch, and hunt for chocolate bunnies on Easter morning! That thought alone made the Easter Weekend Food Drive that much more special to me.
After weeks of planning, passing out flyers around town, gathering Easter decorations, stuffing Easter eggs with candy, finalizing details with local restaurants and LIFE Food Pantry, writing food drive stories in Loveland Magazine, and spreading the word on social media, the day of the Easter Weekend Food Drive finally came! We set up our beautifully decorated Easter tent under the historic clock tower in Downtown Loveland and prepared for a fun-filled day of giving back.
The food drive kicked off at 10 am and almost immediately we began getting food, cash, and Venmo donations. For each donation, we received we made sure to express our gratitude followed by an Easter egg filled with candy! Parents and their children loved that we were celebrating giving back by wearing bunny ears and giving out Easter eggs! The day itself couldn’t have gone any better.
The Easter Weekend Food Drive wrapped up at 5 pm and as we were cleaning up the overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude touched us all. Those feelings alone were enough for me to agree to make the Easter Weekend Food Drive an annual event!
The Easter Weekend Food Drive collected $290 dollars in Venmo and cash donations and over 75 pounds of food for the LIFE Food Pantry. Needless to say, the food drive was an absolute success!
There were so many individuals and local businesses that helped make the Easter Weekend Food Drive possible and I want to take the time now to express how thankful I am:
- Thanks to CeeCee Collins and Meredith Taylor from the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance for all of your help and guidance in organizing my first food drive!
- Thanks to David Miller for helping spread the word and volunteering your time at the food drive!
- Thanks to Loveland Magazine Interns Mahi Sheth and Sean Behling for taking time out of your day to volunteer at the food drive!
- Thanks to Ramsey’s Trailside and Paxton’s Grill for letting us use your carry-out spots for easy access to our donation van!
- Thanks to all the downtown Loveland businesses for being so supportive of this food drive by hanging up our flyers and spreading the word!
- Thanks to the Works Pizza for being a donation drop-off spot!
- Thanks to the City of Loveland’s Krista Rose and Publisher of Loveland Lifestyle Magazine Emily Barlow for helping spread the word about the food drive on your platforms!
- Thanks to Nancy and Jay Grant for volunteering your time at the food drive!
- Thanks to LIFE Food Pantry and Linda Bergholtz for directing us on how to run a great food drive!
- Last but not certainly least, thanks to the wonderful people that came out and donated food or money to the Easter Weekend Food Drive! You are directly responsible for making a difference in many local families’ lives!
Enjoy the slideshow of the photos I, Sean Behling, Adam Ploof, and David Miller took at the Easter Weekend Food Drive!
If you would like to help the pantry by volunteering, holding your own food drive or would like to donate dollars, please visit their WEB SITE. If you are in need of food or financial assistance you will learn about that also.
For Loveland event updates and coverage, stay tuned to the Loveland Salad With ME, Cassie Mattia!
Columnist Cassie Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland and Director of Marketing for Loveland Magazine. Contact her if you are interested in promoting your event or business in Loveland Magazine. Cassie also Emcee’s events so feel free to reach out if you are in need of an Emcee for your next event, fundraiser, or sports-related competition. Cassie was just awarded the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance 2021 Young Business Professional of the Year.