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Hunger in the Mahoning Valley

1 in 6 people in the Mahoning Valley faces hunger.

Right here in the Mahoning Valley, too many seniors, families and children continue to struggle with hunger every day. Unemployment, underemployment, low wages, and rising utilities, medicine, gas and food costs often make it difficult for many families to make ends meet. Although the economy is slowly recovering in our area, our pantries are still seeing more individuals and families who were once stable and are now asking for help to put food on their tables.

To help those who struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table in our community, the Food Bank distributed a record 10.4 million pounds of food to hunger-relief agencies in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties in 2015. These pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and after-school programs currently fulfill nearly 15,000 requests for food assistance each week.

Feeding America’s national study, Hunger in America 2014, highlighted some of the struggles the families visiting our pantries face:

  • 78% had to choose between food and utilities;
  • 74% had to choose between food and medical care;
  • 71% had to choose between food and transportation;
  • 57% had to choose between food and housing;
  • 92% live in food insecure households.

Of those provided food by one of the Food Bank’s member agencies, 32% were children and 20% were seniors. In fact, almost 30,000 children in the tri-county area are at risk for hunger--that's 1 in 4 children in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties who may not know where their next meal is coming from (Map the Meal Gap 2016).