Free food and back-to-school items will be given away Saturday
By David Skolnick
Goodness will invade Youngstown on Saturday when several churches and faith-based groups will provide free food, back-to-school supplies and entertainment.
The fourth annual “Goodness Invasion” will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Covelli Centre, 229 E. Front St.
The goal is to distribute food, both nonperishable items and fresh produce, to about 2,000 to 3,000 families, and to give away backpacks filled with school supplies to about 3,000 kids in the Mahoning Valley.
“We want families of the Youngstown area to know there are good neighbors out there — that they are loved and cared for,” said Juan Rivera, lead pastor of New Life Church in Poland.
The church’s food pantry feeds about 300 area families, distributing about 1,100 bags of groceries a month.
Other agencies involved with the event include the city’s Community Initiative to Reduce Violence, NOW Youngstown, and the Jericho Project.
Also, numerous organizations will sponsor a “Let’s Move” block party from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on East Federal Street. The event will feature food, entertainment, games and health information.
“This is a real communitywide event,” said Kathy Hammond, president of Finer Things Academy, a nonprofit organization that teaches social skills to students in third through sixth grades, and a “Let’s Move” sponsor.
“In this community, we are blessed to have so many resources,” said Guy Burney, CIRV coordinator.