ATHENS, Ohio — OhioHealth announced Friday the cancellation of the annual Bounty on the Bricks event due to concerns over COVID-19. The event, a fundraiser for the Southeast Ohio Foodbank, has historically been held in August.
“This has been a hard decision and one not made lightly,” said OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital president Mark Seckinger. “Still, our planning committee knew we had to act in the interest of public safety.”
The Sisters Health Foundation and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations have supported the fundraising event in past years, and each made a commitment this year as well. Both organizations made a $30,000 contribution to the food bank earlier this spring rather than waiting until the summer event to disperse funds.
“We’re so thankful to our philanthropic partners for their support,” said Seckinger. “Food insecurity has been heightened due to the pandemic and the Sisters Health Foundation and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville have moved quickly to address this crisis. We’re disappointed to not host the event, but are happy to know that a bulk of the funds we normally raise have already reached the foodbank.”
“Due to the pandemic, it made sense for us to disburse our funds early to allow member food pantries to purchase additional food as well as strengthen the foodbank’s vehicle fleet to make deliveries,” said Renee Steffen, executive director of the Sisters Health Foundation. “We’re grateful to still support the foodbank’s important work even though the event will not be held.”
“In the wake of the pandemic, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville is grateful for the continued and expanded efforts by the Southeast Ohio Foodbank to address the growing needs for food access in the region,” said Susan Beaudry, vice president of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville.
“We are so grateful for the support our community partners who help make Bounty on the Bricks a success each year,” said Andrew Mayle, HAPCAP’s Food and Nutrition director at the Southeast Ohio Foodbank. “By providing this funding upfront, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville and Sisters Health Foundation have helped to ensure that our member food pantries across southeast Ohio have the resources they need to fight hunger in their communities, right now. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for our services in a way that we haven’t seen since the Great Recession.”
Planning committee members, a community group made up of representatives from OhioHealth, the Athens Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio University Credit Union, Jackie O’s Brewery, Ohio University, Pork and Pickles, Rural Action and the City of Athens, are looking forward to resuming the event in 2021.
Information provided by OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital.