$1,000,000 from AEP Ohio Will Help with Hunger, Health and Housing in Holiday Season

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Eleven foodbanks and 49 United Way agencies around Ohio will be able to help many more families this season, thanks to donations totaling $1,000,000 that are being distributed in time for the holidays. A list of the organizations is appended.

The gift is part of AEP Ohio’s three-year, $15 million Partnership with Ohio program. In addition to the holiday donations to help with hunger, health and housing, in 2009 the program has helped families in need of assistance to pay their electric bills through the AEP Ohio Neighbor-to Neighbor program.

"AEP Ohio established the Partnership with Ohio program to provide meaningful assistance to Ohioans," said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio. "The help of outstanding community resources like food banks and United Way agencies ensures that our contribution will be effective, and will be quickly used to provide healthy food on the table and other assistance for thousands of families throughout the region."

The gifts from AEP Ohio come just in time to help the growing numbers of struggling families in the region. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report issued last week, Ohio’s "food insecurity" rate has grown to 13.3 percent in 2008 – the highest since 1995. The numbers used for the report are from 2008, before the worst of the current downturn, and community agencies have seen a dramatic increase from the earlier levels. For example, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank currently receives about 140,000 requests for food each month, 38 percent of which are requests to help feed children, according to Matt Habash, President and CEO of Ohio’s largest foodbank.

"Our requests for food assistance have gone up 10 percent since last year," Habash said.

AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

Mid-Ohio Foodbank provides food to more than 500 emergency feeding sites across 20 counties in central and eastern Ohio, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs. In 2008, the Foodbank distributed 30.8 million pounds of food and grocery products to their partner charities. Mid-Ohio Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity.

Foodbanks Receiving AEP “Partnership with Ohio” Gifts in November 2009

Akron Canton Regional Foodbank
Mid Ohio Foodbank
Second Harvest of Southeast Ohio Foodbank
Free Store Foodbank (Located in Cincinnati - event to be held in Portsmouth)
Western Ohio Foodbank
Second Harvest of Mahoning Valley Foodbank
Second Harvest of NC Ohio Foodbank
North West Ohio Foodbank
The Cleveland Foodbank
Shared Harvest Foodbank
Foodbank of Clark, Champlain and Logan Counties

2009 gifts for housing and health care are being distributed through the following United Way Agencies:

UW Scioto Co.
Bucyrus Area UW
United Appeal of Athens
Darke Co. UW
UW of Greater Cincinnati East
UW Defiance Co
UW Delaware Co.
UW Fairfield Co.
UW of Fayette Co.
UW Guernsey & Noble Co.´s
UW Central Ohio
UW Hancock Co.
UW Gallia Co.
UW Hardin Co.
UW of Hocking Co.
UW Jefferson Co.
United Fund of Jackson Co.
United Fund of Willard
UW of Clark & Champlain Co.´s
UW Henry County
United Fund for Meigs Co.
UW Knox Co
UW Pickaway Co.
UW River Cities
Pike Co. Comm. Fund
UW Licking Co.
UW Ross Co.
UW Marion Co.
UW Union Co.
UW Musk.-Perry-Morgan Co.´s
UW Vinton Co.
UW Morrow Co.
UW Marietta
UW Paulding Co.
UW Greater Lima
UW Putnam Co.
UW Auglaize Co.
UW Richland Co.
UW Upper Ohio Valley
UW Sandusky Co.
UW Tuscarawas Co.
UW Tiffin - Seneca Co.
UW of North Columbiana Co.
UW Greater Stark Co.
UW Coshocton Co.
UW Van Wert Co.
UW Wayne and Holmes Counties
UW Ashland County
UW Upper Sandusky

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