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Harvest for Hunger kicks off

By Bob Coupland, Warren Tribune Chronicle

911 days ago   Article ID# 1467341
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Second Harvest Food Bank

WARREN, OHIO (Warren Tribune Chronicle) - In 2011, close to 9 million pounds of food was distributed from Second Harvest Food Bank in Youngstown to help 13,000 people in need in the tri-county area, Executive Director Michael Iberis said, and the need is increasing.

The 21st annual Harvest for Hunger campaign kicked off Wednesday with area organizations, businesses and individuals being challenged to help the food bank restock.

''What you as volunteers are doing by raising funds helps us to replenish our shelves. The need is growing with many families facing hardships,'' Iberis said.

The monthlong food and funds drive in March helps stock shelves ahead of the spring and summer months, when donations taper off, Iberis said. In 2011, the Mahoning Valley raised $130,000 and collected more than 34,000 pounds of food.

Iberis said there has been an increase in need, especially for senior citizens and children.

A backpack program in Warren City Schools and other schools provides food for children over the weekends, including juice, cereal, crackers and peanut butter. He said that too often without the program, many children would not see much food over the weekend.

''Many children today realize their parents are struggling to put food on the table. Many of them are thinking where will their next meal come from," he said.

Becky Miller of the food bank said those not able to conduct a food or fund drives can drop off nonperishable food items at local Giant Eagle stores or at select Sparkle Markets.

Richard Banks, senior director of the Howland Giant Eagle, said fundraising teams and customers at the store helped in making a $52,337 donation the food bank.

Keith Knox of Lordstown, who is the regional director for Giant Eagle, said there is nothing as important as being able to help others and give back to the community.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 117 of Howland are among those planning fundraising to help the food bank with collections at Arby's in Howland and other locations.

The food bank distributes to 153 hunger relief organizations including church pantries, homeless shelters, and soup kitchen, battered women's shelters and after-school programs, Iberis said.

Copyright 2014 Warren Tribune Chronicle   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 911 days ago   Article ID# 1467341

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