The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank celebrated the conclusion of the 32nd annual Harvest for Hunger Campaign by hosting an open house at its Stark County Campus today. Because of the community’s support, the Foodbank will be able to provide as many as 4.8 million meals to people facing hunger this year.
Community leaders, volunteers, corporations and organizations that collected food and funds for the campaign were invited to the open house to celebrate helping the Foodbank surpass its 2023 campaign goal. Guests welcomed the warmer weather during the beach-themed party with a steel drum player, a sweet treat from the Kona Ice truck and more. Seven life-size surf boards revealed the meals raised to guests in attendance, 4,848,129 meals.
“The Foodbank and our hunger-relief network have experienced a 33% increase in visits to our pantry network as families continue to feel the strain of inflation. A family’s budget doesn’t go as far as it once did,” said Dan Flowers, Foodbank president and CEO. “The Harvest for Hunger Campaign is a grassroots campaign that highlights our community’s commitment and passion to feeding our neighbors. We simply couldn’t do this work without them.”
The Harvest for Hunger Campaign is the largest annual fundraising campaign for the Foodbank and helps support food distribution all year long. 100% of every dollar raised in the Campaign goes directly to providing free food for individuals and families in need in the local community.
The Campaign was comprised of 200 businesses, organizations, schools and church groups coming together in support of one unified cause, feeding people and fighting hunger. The community-led, grassroots approach of collecting food and funds on behalf of the Foodbank helped raise $88,000 and nearly 78,000 pounds of food for the Foodbank, the equivalent of 417,000 meals.
Supermarket partners were once again the driving force behind the Campaign’s success. Local Buehler's Fresh Foods, Dave's Supermarkets, Fishers Foods, Giant Eagle, GetGo and Heinen's Fine Foods collected more than $769,000 from customers during Check Out Hunger.
Check Out Hunger, food and funds drives and so many other local community efforts came together to help raise the 4.8 million meals.
Campaign co-chairs Bernett L. Williams, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer; vice president for community initiatives at Akron Children’s Hospital, and Mark Sterling, CEO of Beaver Constructors led this year’s campaign.
The Harvest for Hunger Campaign is a joint effort of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Greater Cleveland Foodbank, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio. This annual fundraising campaign focuses on fighting hunger across 21 counties in Northeast Ohio.
For more information about supporting hunger-relief efforts, please visit akroncantonfoodbank.org or call 330.535.6900.