The Foodbank has a vision of ensuring all community members have access to safe and nourishing food – that no one goes without. In partnership with hunger-relief programs in our network, and because of the generosity from supporters, we’re one step closer to realizing our vision through a new delivery pilot.

The pandemic negatively impacted many families, but also took a toll on hunger-relief programs. Volunteer needs, capacity constraints and an increase in demand for food made it difficult for programs to stay open and stay focused on the work at hand. To help, the Foodbank launched a pilot delivery program, delivering food orders directly to two dozen partners in Portage and Stark counties.

“Delivering food directly to our partners is one less thing they have to worry about while responding to the increase in need for food,” said Katie Carver Reed, director of network partners and programs at the Foodbank. “Each county we serve has different needs. This delivery pilot allows us to meet a common need in Portage County and continue to invest in the charitable food network of this community.”

Through a Feeding America grant, the Foodbank was able to purchase a truck and hire a staff person to make the deliveries. Prior to launching the delivery pilot, the Foodbank received positive feedback from hunger-relief partners who received deliveries from the National Guard during the height of the pandemic.

In exchange, the Foodbank expects the partners who will receive food deliveries to increase their distribution services to their community. Programs could expand their hours, add an additional open day, increase the amount of food distributed to families, etc.

“When I learned about the delivery opportunity, I cried,” said Windham School District pantry volunteer, Crystal. “I was so thankful and excited, as this is such a huge blessing to us and the children we serve. We’ll be able to provide them with more food.”

Because of limited volunteer capacity and vehicle size, the school pantry had decreased its food pickups at the Foodbank. Now, they’ll receive weekly food delivers to better serve local families.

Together, we can create a community free of hunger and full of possibilities. Thank you for your support in helping us ‘deliver’ on our promise!