Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley began in the early 1980s when a group of lay and religious community leaders realized that while people were going hungry, companies were throwing away unused but still nutritious edible food. An effort was started to get these companies to donate food to one central location in order to ease distribution to the many local charities already engaged in the fight against hunger. The Food Assistance Warehouse was incorporated as a 501(c)3 charitable organization in December of 1982 and began operating as a clearinghouse for large quantities of food.
In 1994, the Food Bank became a certified member of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization.
As a member of Feeding America, we are the designated recipient of national food donors and retailers, including Target, Aldi, and Walmart. Additionally, the Food Bank works to procure food donations from local companies like Giant Eagle and Sparkle Markets, as well as through food drives and campaigns like Harvest for Hunger.
In 2019, the Food Bank distributed over 11.5 million pounds of food, including over 3.4 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Currently, member agencies handle nearly 11,000 requests for food assistance per week.
For every $1 given, the Food Bank distributes $11 worth of food, or approximately 6 meals.