Plenty of ways to help Foodbank’s Campaign

Plenty of ways to help Foodbank’s Campaign
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The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s annual Holiday Campaign runs through Dec. 31.

                        

The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s annual Holiday Campaign runs through Dec. 31. The food bank encourages community members to help families this holiday season as many continue to struggle with hunger as a lasting effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has caused a significant economic impact for many Northeast Ohio families. Feeding America projects the food bank’s eight-county service region — Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties — has experienced an estimated 31% increase in the number of individuals facing hunger and an estimated 43% increase in the number of children struggling with hunger because of the virus.

“We are seeing a 20% increase in our food distribution across the network because of the increase in need,” said Dan Flowers, food bank president and CEO. “For some families the recovery will take years. We know we’ll be battling COVID-19 effects for months to come. But we are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of community support we have seen this year and hope the community will continue to stand with us as we stand by our neighbors in need this holiday season and in the many months ahead.”

When COVID-19 shut down local businesses and put many families out of work, the food bank saw an influx of generosity, which has been vital to its emergency-response efforts as it has been able to rely on those resources to meet the increase in need, purchasing more food than it’s ever needed to before.

To help sustain local hunger-relief efforts, the food bank is asking the community to support its annual Holiday Campaign because holiday memories are made around the dinner table. Food brings people together; food helps make lasting memories. But for families facing hunger, holiday meals might not feel as special this year.

The food bank has a variety of opportunities available to support its Holiday Campaign:

Online or Facebook fundraiser

In lieu of in-person food drives, create a personalized virtual fundraiser with the food bank’s online platform or through Facebook and share the link via email and through personal and professional networks. Visit www.akroncantonfoodbank.org/holiday to create a personalized fundraising page.

Host a food and funds drive

For businesses and organizations still able to mobilize food donations during the pandemic, collect food and financial contributions on behalf of the food bank. Coordinator kits will be available and include materials needed for a successful drive.

Planned giving

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

Volunteer

Volunteers are vital to the food bank. Helping in the warehouse, sorting food in the volunteer center, administrative support, loading food into cars at grocery distributions, there are many ways people can volunteer at the food bank. To learn more, visit www.akroncantonfoodbank.org/volunteer.

Eighth annual virtual Selfless Elf 5k Dec. 19

Dress in your favorite holiday-themed costume or running gear and run or walk the 3.1 miles from anywhere. Race packets will be mailed to homes or available through a drive-thru packet pickup. Visit www.selflesself.com for more information.

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


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