YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley is joining Feeding America and other food banks for the 15th annual Hunger Action Month campaign this September.

The campaign seeks to inspire communities to join the cause to end hunger and to raise awareness of those experiencing food insecurity across the United States.

This year’s campaign will explore the choices between food and basic needs that millions of Americans are forced to make.

“The food bank, through our member agencies, are currently providing food to over 13,000 people in the Mahoning Valley each week,” says Michael Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank. “No one should have to make the impossible choice between food and other necessary expenses.”

Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot says though many people may not give much thought to where their next meals will come from, for those facing hunger, daily meals are often not a simple afterthought.

“Instead, it becomes a different type of choice — an impossible decision between food or other crucial needs, such as electricity, childcare or medicine,” says Babineaux-Fontenot. “Nobody should be forced to make a choice to go hungry.”

Feeding American is the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, consisting of 200 food banks — including Second Harvest Food Bank — and 60,000 partnered food pantries and meal programs.

During September, Mahoning Valley residents are encouraged to get involved by learning about, committing to and speaking up about ways to end hunger.

Second Harvest Food Bank provides food to church pantries, homeless shelters, meal sites, school pantries, after-school programs and more. In 2021, the food bank distributed more than 10.6 million pounds of food to the tri-county community.

For more information on how to become involved, visit mahoningvalleysecondharvest.org or call 330-792-5522.