As pandemic-era changes end, those with food insecurity struggle in Youngstown

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At Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries in Youngstown, chief program officer April Alexander has seen countless people struggle to feed their families. According to Feeding America, Mahoning County had a food insecurity rate of 13.4 percent in 2021, meaning 30,670 people were without “access, at times, to enough food for a healthy, active life.” Alexander said the problem seems to be getting worse. “Families can call and schedule and come to get a food box any time,” she said. “And so with the decrease in SNAP benefits, coupled with the increase in food costs, we have seen a significant increase in the number of families who are seeking food assistance from us. And I’m hearing that from some of our partner agencies as well.”

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