LISBON – Mahoning Valley’s Second Harvest Food Bank is the latest organization to ask Columbiana County commissioners to consider supporting them with the latest round of expected stimulus money.
According to Kimberly Brock, agency relations and program manager for the organization, Columbiana County is seeing an increase in the amount of food needed in 2020 because it is a chaotic year for everyone because of the pandemic. With 25 active food kitchens in the district, 3.73 million pounds of food have been distributed, which translates to 3.1 million meals. Brock said the local food kitchen that used to serve 35 families a week turned out to serve 150 families because all of them were closed due to Covid-19.
The Second Harvest Food Bank in Mahoning Valley supports local food kitchens scattered throughout the region. In addition, the organization supports kitchens in the Mahoning and Trumbull regions. In addition, Second Harvest Food Bank has a mobile food kitchen that has been used by the community.
Responding to a question from the commissioners, Brock said that in Ohio every family who expressed a need could get help from a soup kitchen. They may be asked to provide names, addresses, phone numbers and the number of people in their family so that the food bank can determine how much they need and distribute their resources to reach as many people as possible.
Before the pandemic, people were often able to go to local soup kitchens and pick items for their families, but because of social distancing, many food kitchens had to adapt to bagging items and placing them on the curb of the family vehicle instead.
Second Harvest obtains food through donations from the local grocery store and buys additional food with donated funds. Then the local kitchen makes requests of what’s available, either taking their own food or scheduling delivery to their facility.
Brock says food costs have increased over the past year; for example, the price of peanut butter tripled.
Despite increasing needs and costs, Brock says the food pantry continues to work hard and provide a service for everyone. He said he would go to the commissioners in each district served by the food bank and ask them to consider using part of the money given to the district to support local food kitchens. He asks for $ 200,000 but says whatever commissioner can give will be very much appreciated.
While county commissioners expect about $ 10 million both this year and next year in America’s Recovery Plan money, Commissioner Mike Halleck pointed out they are still awaiting direction from the Treasury on the types of projects or ways the money can be spent.
On the other hand, the commissioner opened the only accepted offer for cationic emulsion asphalt for a road paving project. Russell Standard is bidding $ 1,903,550. The offer was forwarded to the regional engineer’s office for review.
In addition, the commissioners approved their latest contract with the County Risk Sharing Authority, Inc. (CORSA), which provides district liability insurance. Among the bills paid on Wednesday by the commissioners was a payment of $ 287,426 to CORSA.