The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank has been dedicated to rescuing food from its grocery store partners for years. Beginning in 2017, the Foodbank also rescues prepared and perishable food from restaurants, banquet facilities, caterers, hospitals, etc. through our Community Harvest program. Volunteers pick up food, that would otherwise go to waste, and deliver it directly to hunger-relief programs within the Foodbank’s network. Rescuing prepared and perishable food enables the Foodbank to provide even more nourishing food options to our network of hunger-relief partners.
America has more than enough food to feed everyone. By some estimates, nearly half of the food grown, processed and transported in the U.S. goes to waste. Approximately 72 billion pounds of perfectly good food ends up in landfills and incinerators every year. (Source: Feeding America)
To learn more about donating food to the Community Harvest program or for volunteer opportunities with Community Harvest, please contact Susan Allen at 330.436.3175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Harvest History
The Foodbank merged with Community Harvest in 2017 to better serve the individuals and families in Stark County struggling with hunger. Community Harvest was originally founded in 1989 and was one of the first nonprofits to engage the restaurant industry in the fight to end hunger. Community Harvest was created through the combined efforts of the Tri-County Restaurant Association and other concerned members of the community. Its aim was to increase the involvement of the restaurant and food service industry by collecting excess prepared and perishable food and donating it to community agencies serving homeless and hungry individuals in the community.
Community Harvest Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers work one day each week from approximately 7am - 1pm. These hours fluctuate slightly, depending on the day of the route. Availability on the same day of the week, on a long-term basis is appreciated. A valid driver's license, ability to lift 50 pounds alone and 75 pounds with another volunteer is necessary.
The driver's primary responsibility is to drive a 14' refrigerated truck. A CDL is not required, but prior experience driving large trucks is preferred. The average route consists of food pickups at 15-20 different food donors and then delivery to 4-7 hot meal programs and shelters. The driver helps load and unload the truck at each donor and delivery site.
The buddy accompanies the driver on the route and typically loads lighter food donations on their own. The buddy works with the driver to load and unload large food donations and assists by completing a food log, so all donations can be tracked and recorded.