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22 Buses caravan up Interstate 77 to deliver busloads of food donations to Foodbank

Apr 30, 2018

Commuting north on Interstate 77 this morning, the average driver could get lost in a sea of yellow; yellow school buses that is. 22 school buses caravanned to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank to drop off collected food donations for the annual Harvest for Hunger Campaign.

Stark County school districts and member districts of the Stark County Educational Service Center (ESC), including Carroll, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties, rallied together for their ‘Hunger: The Bus Stops Here’ campaign. This collaboration is in its second year and is unique because so many school districts unite, across county lines, in support of a single fundraising initiative. 

Minerva Superintendent Gary Chaddock drove his district’s school bus to deliver the donations, with Maintenance Supervisor Aaron Hawk. His district was one of the top donors last year, and with a bus filled to the brim, it may be again this year.

“We really appreciate our giving community,” said Chaddock. “The food comes right back to us in our backpack program, it comes back to our kids and to our families. If there’s a need within the ESC community, the whole group comes together.”

Through the month of April, participating elementary, middle and high schools in 22 districts collected nonperishable food items and financial donations from students, teachers and local residents in hopes of stuffing at least one of their district’s school buses full of donations. Last year, 21 districts stuffed 17 buses.

“The tremendous support by the Stark County ESC, their member school districts and their students is a perfect representation of peers helping peers,” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Foodbank. “The largest demographic of individuals impacted by hunger in our 8-county service area are those under the age of 18. The generous spirit of giving is evident in this collaboration, and we are grateful for this partnership.”

The fundraising efforts from this year’s campaign, more than 41,300 pounds of food coupled with the financial contributions, will help the Foodbank provide its network of hunger-relief programs with more than 68,850 meals. Stark County ESC increased its pounds donated by more than 10 percent!

The Harvest for Hunger Campaign is one of the largest food & funds drives in the country. It is a collaborative partnership bringing together four regional food banks and focuses on fighting hunger across 21 counties in Northeast Ohio. This year’s goal is to provide $1.31 million and 100,000 pounds of food, the equivalent of more than 5.2 million meals. With only a few weeks left, the Foodbank needs the community’s support to help achieve its goal. For more information, or to donate to the Campaign, visit akroncantonfoodbank.org/hfh.
 

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