United Way, Second Harvest Distribute 240 Turkeys

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Carrie Stackhouse saw a need and persuaded her employer, Cortland Banks, to help fill it.

The result is 240 low-income families who will have a turkey on their table this Thanksgiving, because of Cortland Banks, Second Harvest Food Bank and the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

Stackhouse, a vice president for commercial lending in the North Lima office, sits on the board of United Way. Cortland Banks, as its president and CEO, Jim Gasior, explained Friday, has a corporate philosophy of giving back to the communities it serves. He called it ”stewardship” as he listed a small number of other programs the bank funds.

“So Carrie talked about a number of programs we could support,” Gasior said at Youngstown Community School. He had just stood in the school auditorium where Bob Hannon had just announced the distribution of the 240 boxes of turkeys delivered by Second Harvest.

Those who received the turkeys ”will have what we take for granted every day,” Gasior said. “Maybe they’ll enjoy Thanksgiving Day a little more.”

An hour later parents of two-thirds of the students there began picking them up and taking them home.

Cortland Banks gave $5,000 afterward, Gasior said. That helped Second Harvest provide the turkeys, Mike Iberis, executive director of the food bank said. Second Harvest also provided the side dishes to go with the turkeys.

Inside the cardboard boxes of side dishes – weighing 20 to 25 pounds — were plastic bags of assorted dried fruits, soups, stuffing mixes and other staples, said Iberis as he opened a box to show a reporter its contents.

It was all a part of the United Way’s Success by 6 and Success After 6 programs, as the emcee of the press event, Bob Hannon, said in expressing thanks to both. Hannon is president of United Way.

In addition to the turkeys for Thanksgiving, Hannon announced the beginning of the first school pantry in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties. At 3:15 p.m. on the third Friday of each month, Second Harvest will have at Youngstown Community School food for 200 students to take home so they don’t go hungry that weekend. Three hundred fifty-five are enrolled there.

Iberis called these children “a vulnerable part of our population.”

The school pantry extends the Success After 6 backpack program in which 1,200 students in 13 schools in the three counties, including 200 at Youngstown Community School.

Hannon said an immediate goal is to extend the school pantry to all elementary schools within Youngstown and eventually to all in Mahoning County.

Pictured: Jim Gasior, president and CEO, Cortland Bank; Bob Hannon, president, United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley; Michael Iberis, executive director, Second Harvest Food Bank; Dennis Rice, superintendent, Youngstown Community School; Rita Wilson, registrar Millcreek Children’s Center.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.