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      Supermarkets' super-sized impact on area food banks

      Two Toledo-area Giant Eagle supermarkets will close in May, making a huge impact on food bank in our region.

      Markets like Giant Eagle play a big role in feeding the hungry throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. More than 200,000 Ohioans depend on emergency food assistance, according to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank.

      "Unfortunately, the need continues to grow," said the food bank's Barbara Hofstetter. "Last year, we did about 7.8 million pounds of food items out the door. That's the most I've ever seen go out here in the 12 years I've been here."

      Inside the non-profit organization's warehouse, much of the food has been donated from area supermarkets. Hofstetter says local grocers make tremendous impact on what the food bank does. "We go daily to local retailers around the area in our eight counties that we service."

      The food bank's website says it serves more than 300 non-profit agencies in the Toledo-area, including Helping Hands of Saint Louis Church in east Toledo. The church also gets donations from markets and says they help them serve between 250 to 375 people.

      Non-profits like Helping Hands of Saint Louis Church and area food banks like Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank and Seagate Foodbank of NW Ohio accept food and monetary donations.