Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Food Fight Between Hunger Network and Foodbank Over For Now

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 9:47 AM


An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated both groups received money from local foundations. In fact, the Hunger Network receives no money from foundations. The text has been changed to reflect the correction.

Northeast Ohio has two very different emergency food distribution agencies: the Hunger Network, which runs handout centers from predominantly black churches; and the Foodbank, the multimillion-dollar warehouse for distribution. They are united in that they 1) both want to keep Cleveland bellies full and 2) they can’t stand one another.

Last summer, the fight between the two area nonprofits spilled into the pages of this rag. Under pressure from the city’s foundations and county government, the warring parties were asked to come up with ways to collaborate. Instead of agreement, they locked heads. The Network said the Foodbank was trying to swallow it whole; the Foodbank said the Network was being stubborn.

At the time, the county commissioners opted to cut off the Network’s funding until the groups found a solution, thus dangling a carrot that successfully pissed everybody off even more.

It took new County Exec Ed FitzGerald to get the two parties to play nicely. Shortly after taking office, he forced both sides into mediation. In a recently-struck agreement, the two groups will remain separate, each with its own staff, board, and mission. The Hunger Network’s money will go directly to the Foodbank, but the Network will control how the funds are handled. Further gripes go straight to the county. And poor people still get fed.

“I think this is a win for both groups, but most importantly for the community,” says Jeffrey Crossman, an attorney on the Hunger Network’s board.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation