Emergency Programs

Partner agencies of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s hunger-relief network can be divided into two broad categories: Emergency Feeding Programs and Non-emergency Feeding Programs. Only emergency feeding programs are eligible for USDA and Ohio commodities.

Emergency feeding programs are those whose main function is to provide food assistance to individuals and families living in households earning below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. There are three types of emergency feeding programs: 1) food pantries, 2) hot meal sites, and 3) emergency shelters. To locate a food pantry or hot meal program near you, visit Need Food? or call us toll-free at 855-560-0850.

Food Pantries

Food pantries in our hunger-relief network provide food that is taken to be prepared at home by individuals and families. The food includes canned and boxed goods as well as fresh produce and other perishable items such as dairy and baked goods. At a minimum, food pantries provide a three-day supply.  The distribution method can vary from food pantry to food pantry, but over 50% of our partner food pantries offer client-choice. A Client Choice Pantry allows clients to select their own food instead of receiving a pre-packed or standard bag of groceries. With this method, clients do not have to take items they already have, do not like, or cannot eat for health or personal reasons.

Hot Meal Sites

Hot meal sites were once referred to as “soup kitchens” but these types of programs offer much more than just soup.  These programs offer nutritious, full-course meals, without charge, to anyone in need in need of food assistance.

Emergency Shelters

The primary purpose of emergency shelters is to provide safe, temporary shelter/housing and nutritious meals to people in need.  These services are provided at no charge and without additional program requirements to people in need.

The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination  against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.  (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usdagov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.