It’s a resource that’s been in development for years, and the finished project will be well worth the wait.
Thanks to an outpouring of public support from local funders and donors, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is bringing food and resource support right here to Stark County. The Foodbank’s nearly 40,000-square-foot Stark County campus, located at the former Fishers Foods site on Cherry Avenue NE, officially opened on July 1. A community open house was held on July 29 and full services began on August 3.
The Stark Campus will serve as a distribution hub for local food providers. It will also offer an on-site food pantry, as well as social services resources provided by partnering organizations, including employment support, wellness resources, and legal assistance.
The Stark County Campus was created as part of the Foodbank’s strategic plan to close the “meal gap,” or the difference between the amount of food needed and the amount that’s actually available. The Foodbank currently serves 29 million meals annually. To close that meal gap, the Foodbank must provide 41 million meals annually by 2025. Meeting that goal requires more warehouse space, a stronger presence outside of Summit County, and increased support for partnering food pantries. By bringing food resources closer to those pantries, and bringing both food and resources closer to home for Stark residents, the Foodbank will better be able to close that meal gap and lessen food insecurity for thousands of our neighbors in need.
Local funders include the Deuble, Hoover, Paul and Carol David, Sisters of Charity, Stark Community, and Timken foundations.