The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank invited community members, major investors, board members and elected officials to a beam signing event on Tuesday. Guests in attendance were encouraged to leave their mark on a 21-foot beam that will be placed in the new expansion at the Foodbank’s Main Campus in Akron.

Guests signed their names and left messages of goodwill on the beam that will be installed in the Foodbank’s updated facility. They enjoyed refreshments and hard hat tours unveiling the organization’s vision for its new space.

Foodbank President and CEO Dan Flowers welcomed the community members in attendance and shared how the community’s generosity and investment in the Foodbank’s mission means everything for a project like this.

“This project began with a vision – a vision for community food security and a vision to strengthen our collective response to hunger by working together,” said Flowers. “Today, we address not only hunger, but the health and wellbeing of our local residents. Together, we impact the future generations of this region, and it’s because of everyone who invested in the Foodbank’s vision of a thriving community free of hunger.”

The Foodbank broke ground on its expansion and renovation project in November 2022. It will enable the organization to better serve its hunger-relief network and community members struggling with hunger. A series of mission-critical renovations will be made and includes an addition of a new network partner welcome center and distribution docks on the south side of the building. The freezer and cooler capacity will be doubled, and a food pantry, similar to the one in the Stark County Campus, will be added. Office and community spaces will also be renovated.

“This project brought together so many networks of people across our region who focused their energy, talents and passion on making tomorrow brighter for people they may never meet,” said Amanda Montgomery, chair of the Foodbank’s board of directors. “That’s what this project represents – creating a future for this community that transcends this moment – building something that endures beyond ourselves.”

The project is the second phase of the organization’s capital campaign, Growing for Good: The Campaign to Reach Further and Feed More. The first phase was the construction of the Stark County Campus in Canton, which began serving the community in 2021.

The expansion project is scheduled to be completed in the fall. Accommodations have been made to ensure Foodbank operations continue throughout construction.