Today, 16 school buses and vans representing multiple school districts delivered food donations collected for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s Harvest for Hunger Campaign. Stark County schools and member districts of the Stark County Educational Service Center (ESC), including schools from Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties, came together for the fifth year for the ‘Hunger: The Bus Stops Here’ fundraising drive.

“This unique collaboration among so many school districts across county lines, not only benefits hunger-relief partners within the Foodbank’s service area, but helps rally young people around philanthropy and serving their neighbors,” said Dan Flowers, Foodbank president and CEO. “It’s inspiring to see students come together to support their community, and we’re so grateful for this partnership with the Stark County ESC.”

This month, participating elementary, middle and high schools in 17 school 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 or vehicles full of donations.

Collectively, nearly 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 9,600 meals to the local community in partnership with its hunger-relief network.

"Stark County schools are thrilled to partner with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank again to collect food and funds for our families in need. The importance of this effort cannot be overstated, especially on the heels of the COVID pandemic,” said Stark ESC Superintendent Joe Chaddock. “We have so many of our families in need--right here, right now. I want to thank our students and parents in advance for their support of this collection."

The largest demographic of individuals impacted by hunger are children under the age of 18. In the Foodbank’s eight-county service area, more than 17% of children are considered to be food insecure.

Volunteers from Surgere, FirstEnergy and Homesite Insurance were onsite to help unload the donations quickly.

The Harvest for Hunger Campaign is the Foodbank’s largest fundraising campaign and helps support food distribution all year long. Support from the community is imperative to ensure families struggling with hunger have a place to turn during their time of need.

This year’s Campaign goal is to provide $1.13 million and 100,000 pounds of food, the equivalent of more than 4.6 million meals. For more information or to donate to the Campaign, visit