Second Harvest to Open Downtown Soup Kitchen

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley will provide hot meals daily beginning in the second quarter at a new feeding site downtown that will be managed by Ralph “Skip” Barone, the former manager of the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen.

Barone will join the food bank staff as director of the Second Harvest’s new feeding program.

The new feeding site, to be erected at 551 Mahoning Ave., is being funded by a $750,000 donation from a philanthropic family in the Mahoning Valley, which has chosen to remain anonymous, said Mike Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank. A warehouse that was on the site has been demolished and a new 6,500-square-foot structure will be built, he reported.

“We are humbled by this generous gift and the confidence the donor has placed in Second Harvest Food Bank to provide food to those who are the most vulnerable,” said Iberis in a prepared statement. “A hot meal will be served daily and the recipients will be given food to take with them because many are homeless and have no way to prepare food for themselves. With winter quickly approaching, it is so important to provide healthy, nutritious meals to those in need, especially this vulnerable population.”

Barone and most of his volunteer staff at St. Vincent DePaul abruptly walked out of the dining hall Nov. 30 over disagreements with Brian Antal, at the time president of the Northeast Ohio Diocesan Council of St. Vincent de Paul. The walkout, precipitated by a homeless person being prohibited from taking food outside the dining hall, forced its closing. The dining hall has since reopened and Antal has resigned.

Second Harvest Food Bank solicits, stores, and distributes food to hunger-relief organizations in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Editor’s Note: This story was corrected from its first posting.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.