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Second Harvest donation to feed 90,000 families

State Farm agents give $15K

YOUNGSTOWN — The Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley received a donation Monday afternoon that will help to provide tens of thousands of meals.

Local State Farm agents from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties presented a check for $15,000.

“Our communities are hurting right now, and our obligation is to step in and help our neighbors,” said Jan Cefalu, a Poland agent of State Farm, on behalf of the group in a statement. She, along with several others, were unable to attend Monday.

The money will provide 90,000 meals among the three counties, Renee Fuller, development director of Second Harvest, said.

Each of the agents — 15 total from the tri-county area — donated $500 for a total of $7,500. That amount was matched by the State Farm Foundation, Fuller said.

The fundraising began after Cefalu reached out to Second Harvest about making a donation, Jamie Blott, owner of Jamie Blott State Farm in Austintown, said.

“At the corporate level, State Farm matches donations the agents give,” Blott said.

Blott said the insurance company is “huge into community support.”

Local State Farm agents do more than just donate money, Fuller said. Many of the agents on hand Monday have rolled up their sleeves and volunteered at the food bank in the past.

Since May, the Ohio National Guard has been serving at the food bank, assisting with food disbursement and organizing, Fuller said.

About 16,000 requests are being made weekly for food, down from the previous 21,000 at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2019, weekly requests were around 11,000, Fuller said.

“Supporting the good work of Second Harvest Food Bank will go a long way toward helping our community get back on its feet,” Cefalu said.

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