Today, 12 school buses and vans representing a number of school districts delivered food donations to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank in support of its annual Harvest for Hunger Campaign. Stark County schools and member school districts of the Stark County Educational Service Center (Stark ESC), including schools from Tuscarawas and Wayne counties, came together for the sixth year for the ‘Hunger: The Bus Stops Here’ fundraising drive.
“It’s an honor to have so many school districts come together to support local hunger relief and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank,” said Foodbank President and CEO Dan Flowers. “This food drive brings together schools across county lines, making it a unique partnership with tremendous impact. The faculty, staff and administration in each district educate their students on food insecurity while also instilling the importance to care for one’s community.”
In April, participating elementary, middle and high schools in 12 school districts collected nonperishable food items and financial donations from students, teachers and local residents in hopes of stuffing one of their district’s school buses or vehicles full of food donations.
Collectively, more than 10,000 pounds of food was donated to the Foodbank through the campaign. Coupled with financial contributions, the schools’ efforts will help the Foodbank provide more than 11,750 meals to the local community in partnership with its hunger-relief network.
The top three schools participating in this year’s drive were Minerva Local Schools, helping to provide 3,800 meals; Perry Local Schools, helping to provide 1,470 meals; and Lake Local Schools, helping to provide 1,030 meals.
Volunteers from Fifth Third Bank were onsite to help unload the donations quickly.
“We are so proud of our students, families and staff for all their efforts to support our community and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank,” said Stark ESC Superintendent Joe Chaddock. “There are so many folks that are unfortunately at risk of hunger today, and the work being done to help them is truly inspiring. We are thrilled to be a part of this effort.”
One of the largest demographics of individuals impacted by hunger are children under the age of 18. In the Foodbank’s eight-county service area, 1 in 6 children may be food insecure. In Stark County, more than 14,000 children may struggle with hunger. The Foodbank partners with nearly 150 food programs in Stark County and helped provide enough food for 7.5 million meals in the county last year.
The ‘Hunger: The Bus Stops Here’ fundraising drive supports the Foodbank’s largest fundraising campaign, Harvest for Hunger. This campaign helps support food distribution all year long. The Campaign’s goal is to raise $1.12 million and 100,000 pounds of food, which will help provide enough food for 4.54 million meals. For more information or to donate to the Campaign, visit akroncantonfoodbank.org/harvest.