State Farm Agents from Mahoing, Trumbull and Columbiana counties donated $ 500 each, which was matched by the State Farm Companies Foundation Equivalent Donation Program, to raise $ 15,000 for the Mahoning Valley Second Harvest Food Bank.
YOUNGSTOWN – As Valley State Farm insurance agents donated $ 15,000 on Monday to Mahoning Valley’s Second Harvest Food Bank, 90,000 meals will be provided throughout the Mahoning Valley.
Jan Cefalu, an agent of the State Treasury in Poland, organized 15 agents from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties to each donate $ 500 to the food bank. The agents’ $ 7,500 was matched by the State Farm Companies Foundation Equivalent Donation Program for a total of $ 15,000.
“Our communities are suffering now and our obligation is to intervene and help our neighbors,” said Celfau in a statement. “Supporting the good work of the Second Harvest Food Bank will greatly help our community to rise again.”
Steven Jones, a State Farm agent in Youngstown, said it is important for State Farm to support local communities. The food bank was chosen because many people in the Valley are struggling to feed their families due to the pandemic, he said.
“I think people from Youngstown or Youngstown affiliates … when these situations arise, we intervene and do our part,” said Jones.
Renee Fuller, director of development for Second Harvest Food Bank, said the donation will provide 90,000 meals to people in all three counties.
“It’s a big help, especially now,” said Fuller. “It has been very difficult in the last year.”
In 2019, the food bank distributed £ 11.5 million in food, which was a record at the time. In 2020, over 15.1 million pounds of food was distributed, which is the new annual record for the food bank.
Fuller said the COVID-19 pandemic caused many difficulties for families with unemployment, working fewer hours and remote learning in schools.
Second Harvest Food Bank receives about 16,000 food orders each week in the three counties. During the height of the pandemic last year, the food bank received about 21,000 requests a week. The normal number of requests in the past ranged from 11,000 to 13,000 requests per week.
She said it will take some time for people to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“We hope this year is probably as important to everyone as last year was to distribute food as much as possible to as many as possible,” said Fuller.
The 15 agents who contributed to the $ 15,000 donation include:
- Jan Cefalu, Poland
- Tom Danko, Canfield
- Carrie Ratliff, Poland
- Jamie Blott, Austintown
- Jim Leugers, Cornersburg
- Renee Knepper, East Liverpool
- Brandon Miller, Niles
- Scott Seiple, Girard
- Dan Sabol, Columbiana
- Tania Howell, champion
- Rob Donahue, Warren
- Gina McQuillan, Salem
- Bridgett Cutlip, Salem
- Derek Knepper, Howland
- Steven Jones, Youngstown