YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Second Harvest Food Bank began construction of an addition to its warehouse last year to help it meet future needs for distribution.
The 10,000-square-foot expansion, which should be complete in the spring, will provide needed storage space for food, according to Renee Fuller, director of development. It will also give the agency a secure and enclosed area to park four of its trucks.
In 2023, food insecurity reached its highest level since the pandemic, causing more people to seek help from a food pantry. Typically, about 50,000 pounds of food arrived at Second Harvest each weekday and was dispersed to member agencies. The final numbers for 2023 have yet to be tabulated, but it is expected that over 10 million pounds of food was distributed,.
Last year, Second Harvest began a Food is Medicine program in 2023 by partnering with ONE Health Ohio, which distributes special boxes monthly to patients identified by their clinicians. Additional components will be added to this program this year.
Second Harvest has been in operation for over 40 years, providing emergency food assistance in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties through over 160 member agencies and programs. Executive Director Mike Iberis has led the organization since 2000.
Pictured at top: The Food is Medicine program was unveiled in August at ONE Health Ohio’s Kidz First Clinic in Warren. From left are Randy Ebie, Mike Iberis, Dr. Ronald Dwinnells, Dr. Maria Kowal, Melissa Foor and Megan McGlynn.