Holiday campaign benefits local families

Holiday campaign benefits local families

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The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, which serves residents in Tuscarawas County, kicked off its annual holiday campaign, which runs through Dec. 31. The food bank encourages community members to get involved through a variety of activities to help support local hunger relief.

As inflation continues to impact local families’ ability to put food on their tables, the food bank also is having a difficult time keeping its shelves stocked. Food donations are down by 27%, all while the food bank’s pantry network is experiencing a 14% increase in people served. Of families visiting local pantries, 25% are new, meaning they’ve never visited a food program before.

“These are unique and challenging times,” said Dan Flowers, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank president and CEO. “Food banks across the country are struggling to secure food donations because of supply-chain issues and other economic circumstances. Inflation has caused demand to increase, yet available food is at a four-year low. Families are making tough choices, like choosing to pay for rent, utilities or medicine over food. The support of the community has made all the difference in our ability to meet the challenges of these times. We hope our friends will continue to remember our mission over the holidays and in the uncertain times ahead.”

To keep its shelves stocked, the food bank has been forced to purchase more food than ever, and that has been made possible by the financial contributions from individuals, organizations and foundations. To help sustain its efforts in these times, the food bank is asking the community to rally around its annual holiday campaign.

Below are ways to support the holiday campaign:

Host a virtual food drive

Create a personalized online fundraiser and share the link on social media.

Volunteer

Volunteers are vital to the food bank. Helping in the warehouse, administrative support, picking up and delivering food donations, and loading food into cars at drive-thru distributions are opportunities available at both food bank locations. To learn more, visit www.akroncantonfoodbank.org/volunteer.

Host a food and
funds drive

Collect food and financial contributions on behalf of the food bank. Coordinator kits will be made available and include materials needed for a successful drive.

Create a Facebook
fundraiser

Facebook makes it easy to set up an online fundraiser for the food bank. Invite family and friends to donate and help spread the word on social media.

Financial contributions

Consider making a personal donation or a corporate gift. A dollar equals four meals.

Planned giving

Contact the food bank to learn ways to support its hunger-relief efforts through deferred gifts including bequests, charitable gift annuities, life insurance policies and retirement assets.

10th annual Selfless Elf 5k Dec. 17

This family-friendly event is a way to participate in the food bank’s annual holiday campaign and will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Visit www.selflesself.com.

To learn more about the holiday campaign, visit www.akroncantonfoodbank.org/holiday or call the food bank at 330-535-6900.