WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new study is showing alarming numbers on children facing hunger in the Valley.
According to the 2019 Map the Meal Gap, one in four kids in the Valley do not know where their next meal is coming from.
“Because the numbers are telling us that over 23% of the kids in our Valley are in food insecure, which means they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, the produce makes a big difference in their lives,” said Mike Iberis from the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.
Second Harvest supplies food to pantries and resource centers, such as the Warren Family Mission, to curb this statistic.
“It’s rough nowadays. It’s rough. Food’s expensive, rent’s cost go up, it’s just rough,” said Warren resident Amanda Masula.
Masula said she has two children, and money and food can be difficult to juggle.
“We just manage what we have. We got to watch our income. We just watch our intake of food and on days, if we’re running low, we just got to manage what we have,” she said.
This is something Dominic Mararri with the Warren Family Mission sees every day.
“To see children in line waiting to get food with their parents, you see it, it’s sad. Children should be able to worry about being kids,” Mararri said.
He said these are trying times for the community and the country as a whole.
“We can start to bring businesses back that are going to invest in the area to give families the good-paying jobs,” Mararri said.
In the meantime, Masula said the generosity does not go unnoticed.