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Food bank appreciates support of governor

To the editor:

Over the past month, Gov. Mike DeWine and his administration have repeatedly responded to calls for help from food banks throughout the state. In March, Gov. DeWine deployed Ohio National Guard members when we made a plea for emergency support.

Locally, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley has 26 members of the Ohio National Guard on-site helping in all aspects of food distribution in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

This week, Lt. Governor Husted announced the administration authorized $5 million in additional TANF funding to help food banks like ours maintain our immediate response to unprecedented need. These funds will be used to clear surplus production by Ohio growers and dairy farmers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm for our charitable hunger relief network. We normally rely on large fundraising events, but most are cancelled. Food pantries are normally operated by elderly volunteers, who are sheltering at home. Children may not have access to replacement school meals. Seniors, people living with disabilities and other vulnerable populations can’t access congregate feeding sites. Pressure is mounting on the food supply chain including our usual sources for donated products.

This is true for every Feeding America food bank across the country, and few are as lucky as we are here in Ohio to have the strong leadership of Governor DeWine.

Michael Iberis,

Executive Director,

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley

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