A sense of community filled the large gymnasium at Open M as a line of nearly 350 people wrapped around the building for the direct food distribution. Fifteen eight-foot tables were lined closely together and formed a U shape in the gymnasium. Each table had different food items for community members to select— from potatoes, onions and collard greens to breads and soups. Teams of smiling volunteers were behind each table greeting the guests as they walked through the line during the 3-hour food distribution.
After going through the line, Margo, a soft-spoken grandmother of four sat quietly, waiting for her grandson who is volunteering at Open M.
Margo requested the day off from work just so she could attend the food distribution. While she takes care of her grandchildren, she also cares for her husband who is out of work due to a back injury. She explains that this distribution provides such an essential boost to help feed her family.
A direct food distribution is a mutual program between the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and select member agencies, like Open M. During the distribution, the Foodbank typically brings 14,000 to 18,000 pounds of food to the host organization that will be distributed to those facing hunger that day.The Foodbank currently runs Direct Distributions in Medina, Carroll, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties. For a list of locations, please visit getfoodhelp.org
Pictured: Two of Margo's grandchildren, Handsome and Miracle.