11,750 meals donated by local schools to help fight hunger

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Tracy Dowe eagerly volunteered to help quickly unload the food donations for the 'Hunger: The Bus Stops Here' food drive. (Submitted photo)
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Students from 12 school districts in Stark County and beyond joined hands to support the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s Harvest for Hunger Campaign. The campaign aims to raise $1.12 million and 100,000 pounds of food, which will help provide enough food for 4.54 million meals. The ‘Hunger: The Bus Stops Here’ fundraising drive, in its sixth year, collected non-perishable food items and financial donations from students, teachers, and local residents.

Collectively, more than 10,000 pounds of food was donated to the Foodbank through the campaign, and the schools’ efforts will help the Foodbank provide more than 11,750 meals to the local community. The top three schools participating in this year’s drive were Minerva Local Schools (3,800 meals), Perry Local Schools (1,470 meals), and Lake Local Schools (1,030 meals). Volunteers from Fifth Third Bank were on-site to help unload the donations quickly.

Foodbank President and CEO Dan Flowers expressed his gratitude to the schools and local community, saying, “It’s an honor to have so many school districts come together to support local hunger relief and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. This food drive brings together schools across county lines, making it a unique partnership with tremendous impact.”

Stark ESC Superintendent Joe Chaddock also expressed pride in the students, families, and staff who came together to support the community, saying, “We are thrilled to be a part of this effort.”

The campaign is especially significant as one of the largest demographics of individuals impacted by hunger are children under the age of 18. In Stark County, more than 14,000 children may struggle with hunger. The Foodbank partners with nearly 150 food programs in Stark County and helped provide enough food for 7.5 million meals in the county last year.

The ‘Hunger: The Bus Stops Here’ fundraising drive is an inspiring example of how a community can come together to support those in need. The students, teachers, and local residents who donated to the campaign should be commended for their efforts to care for their community and make a positive impact in the lives of those struggling with food insecurity.