Partnership helps impoverished families access food donation sites

Mayor's Wednesday update on COVID-19
Posted at 3:55 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 03:36:47-04

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.

CINCINNATI - A local government-business partnership is using advanced data to make it easier for impoverished children and families to access food donation sites.

Mayor John Cranley's April 29 COVID-19 update in CIncinnati

Thousands of people have already benefited from the partnership between the city, the data analytics and marketing company 84.51° and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, according to Mayor John Cranley and representatives who spoke at his COVID-19 news briefing Wednesday.

“The idea is to track and map hunger in our city to help those in need,” said City Councilman Greg Landsman.

Children’s Hospital started the mapping and 84.51°, on behalf of Kroger’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Initiative, took over with its additional expertise.

“Their amazing analytics have enabled us to map food distribution sites and see where there are gaps and work with our partners to fill those gaps,” Landman said.

Landman said his office coordinates weekly phone calls between 100 people including food distributors and social agencies. They represent about 40 partners.

“We’re specifically focused on impoverished children and ensuring families don’t have to go more than a mile to access free food distribution sites,” said Charles Hoffman of 84.51°.

The company’s name represents the longitude of its downtown headquarters at 100 West Fifth St.

Hoffman said other partners like Cincinnati Public Schools and Freestore Foodbank “really took hold of the data and made major improvements to the food distribution network, helping thousands more families to access free food.”

He cited two recent examples: the opening of a site at the Villages of Roll Hill that has served over 1,000 meals, and a one-time pop-up site at Elder High School Tuesday that distributed over 1,000 emergency food boxes.

Hoffman said 84.51° created a website with a map to help families find the closest food distribution site, as well as other services. A demonstration of the website can be viewed on YouTube.

“My hope is that this kind of partnership will continue to work long after the crisis is over,” Landsman said.

In other announcements:

Cranley called Sen. Mitch McConnell “what a hypocrite” for suggesting state and cities declare bankruptcy rather than expect the federal government to bail them out of their budget crises caused by COVID-19.

“A guy who prints money lecturing us about being over budget with massive shortfalls has the nerve to make the statement that we’ve been irresponsible when, unlike him, who has been overseeing the largest budget deficit in the history of our country, we balance our budget every year,” Cranley said.

Kroger spokesperson Erin Rolfes provided details about the company’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing Thursday and Friday at Dunham Recreation Center in Westwood.

City Health Commissioner Melba Moore announced the latest COVID-19 numbers:

  • New cases: 28
  • Total cases: 477 (including 106 white, 129 black, 197 unknown)
  • Deaths: 21 (four white, eight black, nine unknown)
  • Recovered: 159 (including 45 white, 47 black, 57 unknown).
  • Total Hospitalizations: 125

SEE the complete city data.

Moore was asked if she knew why the Westwood area, with 91 confirmed cases, has far more than any other.

“I can’t really say why but a couple of things to consider with any neighborhood are, it’s very important for people to practice social distancing and when they’re out, to wear their masks.

“It could be clustering in that area,” Moore said.

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:


  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.


  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.


  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail
  • See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.

What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.

The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms.