Pro Football Hall of Fame partners with Foodbank to contribute thousands of meals to Stark County hunger-relief programs

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week, powered by Johnson Controls and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, created an immense celebration in Canton, including two dozen diverse events enjoyed by more than 700,000 people. 

Many of these events included food items. Rather than allow edible, excess food go to waste, the Pro Football Hall of Fame partnered with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s prepared and perishable food rescue program, Community Harvest. Volunteers picked up the extra food and delivered it directly to hunger-relief programs within the Foodbank’s network. Rescuing prepared and perishable food enables the Foodbank to provide even more nourishing food options to its network of hot meal sites and shelters.

Surrounding the Hall of Fame, a large tent city was created to host a reception, including six events catered by The RK Group. During three short days, nearly 3,000 pounds of excess food was delivered to local shelters and hot meal programs in Stark County.

“Our ability to donate excess food in these communities goes beyond being a business and makes us feel truly connected to the communities by making things better for them. It was great knowing our excess food would be used to help community members and not be wasted,” said Neil Fuselier, senior vice president of The RK Group.

In addition to Hall of Fame events, several private parties and luncheons were held throughout Stark County with food being donated directly to local hunger-relief programs. It is estimated that more than 6,600 meals were provided to people in need throughout the community as a result of Hall of Fame festivities.

“Collecting excess food after the Hall of Fame festivities each year demonstrates how our program is designed to work and why it is so efficient,” said Faith Barbato, Community Harvest program director.  “There are dozens of events that take place in Stark County on any given week.  We take the guess work out of determining how to transport the leftover food and where it should go.  Knowing that excess food can be turned into something beneficial for our community with one phone call is what makes our program so special.” 

The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank has been dedicated to rescuing prepared and perishable food from its retail partners for years. Beginning in 2017, the Foodbank also rescues prepared food from restaurants, banquet facilities, caterers, hospitals, etc. through the Community Harvest program.

For more information about the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s prepared and perishable food rescue program, Community Harvest, please contact Faith Barbato at 330.493.0800 or