Valley View Community Food Bank in Youngtown will be even busier this summer and needs more food for the next few months once school is out.
Jesse Ramirez, executive director of the food bank, said many families ask for food from the organization in the summer because their children are at home more often.
Just in time, Valley View received extra help in the form of a $1,000 check.
“You have no idea how much impact this will have for us,” Ramirez said.
The Daily New-Sun awarded the organization $1,000 Thursday after the food bank won the newspaper’s local charity contest. The money was raised through the newspaper’s annual book sale last month.
All of the proceeds were given to the winner of the contest, which included online voting and paper ballots delivered to the newspaper.
Valley View received the most total votes with 984, while America’s Mightiest Warriors had 664, followed by Eve’s Place with 159.
America’s Mightiest Warriors is a nonprofit organization that helps soldiers deployed overseas while Eve’s Place is a shelter for battered women.
Ramirez said he’s grateful so many people voted for the food bank.
“This really shows the outpour of love from folks,” said Ramirez. “It’s unbelievable that we have so much support and care from the community.”
The money from the book sale, Ramirez said, will be used to buy 80,000 pounds of fresh produce, which will last at least three weeks.
“Many people really depend on food from us and all of this goes into our emergency food boxes for the families that need it,” Ramirez said.
The food bank feeds more than 310 people a day, Ramirez said.
Valley View Community Food Bank depends on food and monetary donations to help individuals, along with money from its Youngtown thrift shop.
Mary Jo Kerr, a Sun City West resident and food bank volunteer, said she’s happy the food bank won the contest.
“It’s a wonderful thing because we need the money to replenish the supplies,” said Kerr. “Everyone I know that works there and my church, we’re all cheering for this food bank.”
Mitchell Vantrease may be reached at 623-876-2526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.