YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Across the Valley, the need to feed hungry families is increasingly high. Local food pantries, kitchens and organizations continue to offer support to make sure nobody is left hungry.
“It’s a struggle every day; it really is,” said Annette Hagerty, manager of Our Community Kitchen in Youngstown.
More people are lining up each day at Our Community Kitchen for hot meals.
“This time last year, we were about 150 for lunch. We are now doing close to 300, and then you add breakfast in, it’s close to 400 a day,” Hagerty said.
Volunteers say the task of feeding everyone can be stressful.
“Trying to make the food stretch and trying to get enough in there so everybody is fed,” Hagerty said.
Each day, truckloads full of fresh produce are dropped off at Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley. The non-profit supports more than 150 food pantries across the area.
“According to our pantries’ reports, about 15,000 people a month that are being supported by them and by us,” said Second Harvest’s Executive Director Mike Iberis.
“We know it’s inflation. Inflation has caused more people to show up,” he added.
The line for food at the Warren Family Mission is long every day.
“Over 320 meals are going out per day, and we are feeding six days a week,” said Dominic Mararri, director of public relations at the Warren Family Mission.
“Behind every face is a story and a desperation and urgency to get food and necessities just to live,” Mararri said.
The organizations are motivated to help others through compassion.
“It’s totally never-ending. We’re operating here six days a week because the need is here,” Iberis said.