East Side food bank anticipates increased need
As public health and economic repercussions of the coronavirus continue to impact our community, the Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center (FMWOC), a local food pantry and clothing bank, is preparing for an increased need for food assistance.
Support for the all-volunteer organization comes from 14 churches in the eastern suburbs, including Cleveland Heights’ Communion of Saints Parish and Church of the Saviour.
The center is located at St. Philomena Church, 13824 Euclid Ave., in East Cleveland. It operates every Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., as a registered agency with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank under the sponsorship of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Cleveland Council.
Each week, more than 75 families from East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Highland Heights, Richmond Heights, South Euclid, Collinwood, Glenville, and Little Italy receive free food and clothing.
“As we face an unprecedented need, we want to make sure that people in the Heights are familiar with the work of the Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center so they can lend their support,” said Annette Cappaert, board member and volunteer manager of the center. “We want members of the community to help us, whether through financial contributions or donated items, or just by spreading the word to those who could benefit from our free services.”
“Even a small donation will go a long way to help our neighbors in need,” noted Cappaert. Financial donations can be made payable to Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center c/o Communion of Saints Parish, 2175 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.
The former Christ the King Church on Noble Road established the original center in 2006, in memory of the late Father Michael Wittman, who was known for his outreach and commitment to neighbors in need throughout East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. The center moved to its current location in 2010, when four Catholic parishes—St. Ann, St. Lewis, St. Philomena, and Christ the King—were consolidated into the current Communion of Saints Parish.
For more information on the organization and its services, visit www.facebook.com/groups/FMWOC.
A Cleveland Heights resident for 14 years, Carol Iott is currently an arts consultant, board member for the Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center, and a member of Communion of Saints Parish.