Formed by a group of community leaders committed to providing emergency food to those in need, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank was established in 1982. Located at 350 Opportunity Parkway, the site contains an 83,000 square foot warehouse, including 8,000 square feet of refrigeration and freezer space.
Their mission is for people to experience healthy and hunger-free lives by distributing food to the hungry and advocating, engaging, and convening communities to join hands to fight hunger. Their vision to create a thriving community free of hunger has enabled them to distribute over 20 million meals every year.
The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank received the Food Bank of the Year award at Feeding America Network Summit held in Detroit in 2012. The judges chose Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank for the following accomplishments: increasing distribution to 19.4 million pounds of food; cultivating new donors, which resulted in the increase of fund accepted in the last two years by 100 percent; creating a new Feeding Kids Initiative to help kids suffering from food insecurity; and developing creative tools to engage and educate the public.
The Foodbank gets its food donations from corporate food donors, state and federal food assistance programs, and Feeding America. They also purchase large quantities of food at a reduced price. Donated food is inspected, sorted and repackaged at the Volunteer Center for distribution to Foodbank’s hunger-relief programs.
They are currently operating 500 food pantries, hot meal sites, shelters and other hunger-relief programs. In addition to food, the Foodbank also provides other essential items to member hunger-relief programs in eight Northeast Ohio counties.