CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Second Harvest Food Bank said reality hit Wednesday when one of their traveling food pantries ran out of food before the start time even began.
The line at the giveaway at Struthers High School was so long, so early that they were forced to start earlier than planned.
Second Harvest served more than 350 families and were out of food in just 15 minutes.
Becky Page with the food bank said it made them realize how great the need is in the area. She said they are always in need of donations, but even more so now with a “second wave” of the pandemic.
She said Second Harvest is in what their calling “crisis mode.”
“I think yesterday was a clear indication of what’s to come in the coming weeks and the coming months at the food pantry lines,” Page said. “We’ve seen slight increases in some sites. Not as many, so we are trying to adjust those distributions where we know there’s going to be a larger crowd of people and just trying to get to all the under-served areas in the tri-county area that we can to help assist our 150 pantries that are still doing this on a daily basis.”
Second Harvest is collaborating with the Canfield Fair Board, the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio National Guard to host the third Traveling Food Pantry food distribution at the fairgrounds.
It will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 28. Page said she expects a long line and the start time could change, so be early if possible.
The Food Bank and members of the Ohio National Guard are prepared to serve 700 families.
Senator Michael Rulli, representing Ohio’s 33rd District, which includes all of the Columbiana and Mahoning counties, will be on site assisting with the food distribution. He will also present Second Harvest Food Bank with a proclamation and Ohio State Flag at noon.
Recipients will enter the fairgrounds through Gate 9 and exit through Gate 5.
In order to partake in this zero-contact distribution, recipients’ trunks must be open and clear of all other belongings, and their windows must be rolled up. Recipients are not to exit their vehicle for any reason.
The distribution includes fruit, vegetables and dairy boxes, plus additional assorted produce and bakery items.
The Traveling Food Pantry is a new program of Second Harvest Food Bank, operating as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic to help meet the increased need for food.
“The lines at food pantries remain long across Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties as we progress through the fifth month of the pandemic–nearly 20,000 requests for emergency food assistance each week,” said Michael Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank.
In the first six months of 2020, Second Harvest and its network of member agencies have provided 6.25 million meals.
They distributed 7.5 million pounds of food, which was 2.5 million pounds more than in the same time period of 2019.
For a list of additional Traveling Food Pantry distributions, visit Second Harvest’s website.