Food bank seeks help with hunger

YOUNGSTOWN — The executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank is reaching out to residents of the Mahoning Valley to help end hunger by volunteering or holding fundraisers as part of Hunger Action Month.

Michael Iberis said Hunger Action Month will be held during September.

He said in the Mahoning Valley, more than 85,000 people struggle with hunger and many don’t know where they will find their next meal.

Iberis said food banks, not only locally but across the nation, are joining as part of the effort.

He said hunger affects many people, including families who are working full time and part time and struggling to put food on the table.

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley joins Feeding America food banks across the country during Hunger Action Month to inspire people to take action and to raise awareness of the fact that 40 million Americans — including 12.5 million children and 5.5 million seniors — are food insecure.

“Hunger Action Month helps to raise awareness that one in six adults and one in four children in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties do not know where their next meal is coming from. Volunteering, hosting a food drive or fundraiser, making a monetary donation — every action counts, especially now,” Iberis said.

Iberis said last year’s campaign collected enough food to feed 16,000 people in the Mahoning Valley.

Iberis noted that during the summer months, the summer food service program helped make sure local children had nutritious food when school was not in session.

Ways local residents can help take part in feeding people are by hosting a food drive / fundraiser by calling 330-792-5522; making a donation as little as $1 provides six meals; or wearing orange clothes on Thursday and sharing photos on Facebook and Instagram @SHFMV.

“People can come up with any fundraising idea or even offer to volunteer at the food bank,” Iberis said.

He said at the end of the year, especially at the holidays. there is an increase in people needing food. He said every box of rice, can of soup or bag of beans makes a difference. Nonperishable food items may be dropped off at the food bank or at the following locations:

l Austintown: Skate Zone, 5420 Mahoning Ave.;

l Boardman: Big Lots, 7110 South Ave.;

l Niles: Big Lots, 5796 Youngstown-Warren Road;

l North Lima: Armstrong Cable, 9328 Woodworth Road;

l Warren: CVS, 3933 Parkman Road NW;

l Warren: CVS, 620 E. Market St.

Armstrong Cable in North Lima has launched its second annual Avenge Hunger Month campaign, encouraging Mahoning Valley residents to donate food to their local food pantry or Armstrong office.

Officials with the company said its goal is to collect 60,000 pounds of food as part of the Avenge Hunger Month campaign, which is being held until Oct. 4.

In 2018, the company collected nearly 50,000 pounds of food to help with 200 community feeding programs.

Officials said they are happy to contribute ot the cause and help make a difference in the community.

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, a member of Feeding America, provides food to those in need in the tri-county area through 160 programs provided by hunger-relief organizations, which include church pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, shelters for battered women and after-school programs.

In 2018, the Food Bank distributed more than 10 million pounds of food, including 3 million pounds of produce. For more information, visit www.mahoningvalleysecondharvest.org or call 330-792-5522.