I have a few ideas about possible low-cost sources of food for this challenge. As one of these opportunities is coming up tomorrow, I thought I'd share my ideas.
1) High Bidder - Tomorrow across the river from our building there is a restaurant going up for auction. Those who know me also know that I make my living at auctions. There was one auction in the past, a pizza chain distribution facility, in which I bought sooo much food for sooo little money. I stuffed every freezer I could find (including friends and family) and then donated 1000lbs to the local food bank! Tomorrow won't be so glorious a take, but there is a 35lb jug of oil, several trays of seasonings, and who knows what else!
2) Banana Boxes - When I first got into our current business, I searched all over for sources of merchandise to buy. At that time I became aware of a phenomenon called 'Banana Boxes' - literally leftover boxes from bananas stuffed with dented cans and dry goods past their expiration. Trick is, you have to buy them a whole pallet at a time. An internet search showed there is a company down in Akron that sells these. I'll look into this soon.
3) 55mph Bullets - I don't know if it is done locally, but I know that in some Ohio communities there is a 'Roadkill List' for deer. If you don't mind a phone call at 5AM you can get a raod-hunted deer for absolutely free! I plan to call the sheriff's office and see if there is any program like that out here.