AmeriCares, through a donation from Nestlé Waters North America, delivered three truckloads of bottled water to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank in response to an algae bloom in Lake Erie that left hundreds of thousands of Ohio residents without drinkable water.
From August 1 through August 4, Toledo city officials banned all drinking water as toxins from the algae bloom contaminated the city’s water supply, and left residents vulnerable to symptoms that include diarrhea, rashes and vomiting. With the ban in place, Ohio and Michigan families began to prepare for days without water; many turned to distribution centers, like the food bank, for help.
Though the ban was lifted after tests showed the water to be safe, there is still a considerable threat that algae blooms will continue to pose health risks for thousands along Lake Erie’s coastline. AmeriCares delivery of bottled water will be used to resupply the food bank so it is ready in the event of another severe water shortage.
“The resupply from AmeriCares is critical for us to achieve our goals as a Food Bank,” said James Caldwell, President and CEO of Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank. “We work with over 300 partner agencies that serve thousands of residents throughout our 8 counties in northwest Ohio. Many of our agencies offer emergency services through their pantry distribution and kitchen meals. If another water situation happens it is important for us to keep our emergency sites ready to go.”