Stepping Up: Second Harvest, Suzanne’s, Raising Cane’s

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Business Journal is asking companies and organizations to tell us how they are faring and what they are doing to help others through this pandemic crisis.

We call this series “Stepping Up.” Segments will continue to be posted during the crisis.

Submit your own story at

Second Harvest Food Bank

CANFIELD, Ohio – Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley will launch its Traveling Food Pantry Friday at the Canfield Fairground.

With aid from the Canfield Fair Board, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Ohio National Guard, the food bank will distribute upward of 500 kits containing nonperishable food items, milk and produce. 

Distribution will begin at 2 p.m. Recipients can center the fairground at Gate 8 and exit at Gate 5. Due to the expected volume, Second Harvest asks that recipients wait until 1 p.m. to begin lining up. Distribution will be limited to one kit per car.

In order to ensure a zero-contact distribution, trunks must be clear of all belongings and all car windows must be up. Drivers and passengers will not be able to exit their vehicle for any reason.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Second Harvest has seen a 30% increase in traffic, says Executive Director Michael Iberis.

The traveling pantry will be at Maplewood High School at 11 a.m. April 20 and Beaver Local Schools on May 1. Other distributions are being planned.


BOARDMAN, Ohio – As her store celebrates its 45th anniversary, Suzanne Kessler is launching a weekly promotion and Facebook Live series to keep customers looking their best.

Starting Friday at 10:30 a.m., Suzanne’s will go live on the social media platform offering either $45 off select items or 45% of categories, such as denim or certain brands. 

The promotion joins Kessler’s use of Facebook Live to offer customers virtual shopping appointments.

“I opened my store with my sister 45 years ago as the steel mills were closing and I’ve seen many ups and downs in this area, but the one consistent has been the wonderful community here in the Valley,” Kessler says. “As with the past, I now have to adapt to what is happening around me. I’m looking forward to reopening my store, but until then, I am excited to offer these new methods of connecting with my customers.”

All orders of $50 or more will include a free nonmedical-grade mask. Additional masks are available for $8.

Suzanne’s Facebook page can be found here.

Raising Cane’s

BATON ROUGE, La. – Raising Cane’s, the fast food chicken chain with a site in Boardman, is launching the In The Moment Virtual Entertainment Series.

The series will feature live performances by musical artists and groups every Wednesday and Friday through April 19.

During each concert, Raising Cane’s will host a fundraiser for health-care workers and disaster relief organizations.

“As we all adjust to the current realities of life, it’s easy to get bogged down and focus on everything you aren’t doing,” says Raising Cane’s founder, owner an co-CEO Todd Graves. “So we wanted to do what we could to spread some joy and entertainment while also showing gratitude for the brave men and women that are serving on the frontlines. We invite everyone to join the Cane’s In The Moment initiative as we try to shine a light during these dark times.”

Performances will be streamed on the chain’s Facebook page. A schedule of performances and more information is available here.

Aqua Ohio

STRUTHERS, Ohio – As part of its statewide effort to aid food banks, Aqua Ohio is donating $2,500 to Second Harvest Food Bank.

“At Aqua Ohio, we’re proud to come together in support of those organizations that provide assistance in the communities we serve,” says President Ed Kolodziej. 

“Because of the food bank’s ability to leverage donations – feeding so many people with each dollar – and their network that allows them to efficiently reach the most vulnerable among our customers, we felt this contribution was an important step toward helping people in need.”  

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