Youngstown State University Head Football Coach Eric Wolford and First Place Bank CEO, Steve Lewis announced the "Spread The Red to Feed Hungry Families" campaign on Tuesday, August 30. The "Spread the Red" campaign is designed to hold several community events while raising funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank.
YSU Football and First Place Bank have had a long tradition and partnership over the years and have both used their color of red as a sense of pride. Together these two organizations will use this partnership to help Valley families who are struggling to keep food on the table.
"We are going through some very unique times in this country and this Valley. We must all pull together as one team to achieve positive change in our community," Wolford said. "The YSU football program is proud to partner with First Place Bank to support the Second Harvest Food Bank and their daily mission of supporting families in our area. We encourage the entire Valley to Spread the Red and feed hungry families. Like winning football games, this initiative will be won with everyone contributing."
A sobering statistic recently reported by local media has brought two organizations together to help make a difference for those in need in the Mahoning Valley. According to a report by the Columbus Dispatch, Youngstown ranks third worst in the nation for hungry families.
"We are honored to be able to partner with Coach Wolford and the YSU football family to fight hunger in the Valley," added Lewis. "At the heart of our mission as a local community bank is our desire to be able to respond quickly to situations just like this. Once we became aware of the incredible need in our community we were able to come together very quickly in order to launch this effort. Together we can ensure that the Mahoning Valley is no longer a part of this statistic."
While several initiatives have been scheduled over the next several weeks, additional efforts are in the development stage and will be announced throughout the campaign. The "Spread the Red to Feed Hungry Families" will officially kick-off at the Canfield Fair on Thursday, Sept. 1.
The Penguins football program will contribute by their performance on the field. First Place Bank will donate a $150 to the Second Harvest Food Bank every time YSU gets into the "red zone" at Stambaugh Stadium. YSU is set to play six regular-season home games so Second Harvest and First Place Bank are hoping for plenty of YSU scoring chances.
Additional events and Spread the Red efforts will continue to be announced over the next several weeks.