Veterans agency hands out 1,000 free meals at Covelli Centre

Local News

Cars lined the Covelli Centre's parking lot hours before the distribution started

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Saturday, the Mahoning County Veterans Service Commission handed out 1,000 meals.

Cars lined the Covelli Centre’s parking lot hours before the distribution started.

“Twenty years I’ve been doing this. To be able to look out here and there are 200 cars at 4:30, 5 in the morning, that speaks for itself,” said veteran Leo Connelly.

Connelly is a member of the local Military Order of Purple Heart. He worked alongside to Mahoning County Veterans Services Commission and Second Harvest Food Bank to hand out food to the first 1,000 people who could make it to the Covelli Centre.

They were people who he said deserve it.

“There’s a great need. People are in need. People are hurting today,” he said. “Maybe between all of us getting together, we made a difference. Hopefully, this will help ease a little bit of that pain that they’re going to have over the holidays.”

John Rainer set an alarm for 6 a.m. after he heard about Saturday’s donation. He said this reminds everyone to give back when they’re able to.

“I try to help my neighbors out, give out free food when I can get it,” he said.

Macey Stone from Youngstown agrees.

“I do yardwork for people in my neighborhood and whatnot. I also volunteer down at Fish Samaritan House,” Stone said.

Stone wanted to thank the volunteers on everyone’s behalf.

Connelly said he’s happy he’s able to help.

“We’re the ones smiling that we’re able to do this for the Valley,” he said.

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