Valley Foods, Youngstown

Valley Foods Receives State Loan to Improve Productivity, Efficiency

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A local company that packages meals for the U.S. Department of Defense and for disaster relief will receive a $314,925 loan from the Ohio Department of Development to improve productivity and efficiency.

Valley Foods Inc., 335 E. Boardman St., will use the loan to buy new equipment that will allow the company to package meals more quickly. The company will add $104,975, bringing the total project cost to $419,900. The Ohio Controlling Board approved the Regional 166 Direct Loan during its Monday meeting.

“This project approval is going to help them with upgrades to improve efficiency for their meal kits and ultimately will add and retain jobs for the business,” said state Rep. Al Cutrona of Canfield, R-58th.

With the funding, Valley Foods will purchase a new pouching machine so that food can be packaged quicker, allowing the company to better serve its Defense contracts and bid on additional contracts. The meals have an extended shelf life and are used in military installations and disaster zones around the world.

“This is how the DeWine-Husted administration and Development empower communities to succeed. We support businesses, which in turn makes their communities stronger,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of Development. “This loan has the added benefit of helping our military men and women and people who are coping with disasters.”

Valley Foods is a 60-year-old company in downtown Youngstown. John and Mary Ann Valley started the business as a home-based catering service, and it grew into a full food service company. Over the past 24 years, the company has provided meal kits to National Guard units in several states and to the Defense Logistics Agency, which is the combat support agency for the Department of Defense.

National Guard units in Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia have contracts with Valley Foods in addition to the Defense Logistics Agency. Valley Foods also has supplied meal kits to areas affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.