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FALL 2012

DID YOU KNOW? An average of 68,000 meals worth of food is distributed from the Foodbank each day.



A publication of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

Serving Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas & Wayne Counties

The season of togetherness

350 Opportunity Parkway Akron, OH 44307-2234 main: 330.535.6900 fax: 330.996.5337

BOARD OF DIRECTORS George Sarkis, Chairman Richard Wilson, Vice Chairman Patricia Gibbs, Treasurer Mark Purtilar, Secretary Shelly Allio Robert Bender Chris Coughlin James Deluca Michael J. Dowling Lia Easler Kristin Hannon Suzanne Hobson Nicole Koharik Michael Lapides Michael Moldvay Pamela Simpson Bernett Williams Jan Wojno Daniel R. Flowers PRESIDENT & CEO

The leaves have begun to change from bright green to stunning reds and yellows. There is a distinct chill in the air, a constant reminder that fall is upon us. It seems like it happened over night. One day, Northeast Ohio woke up and decided it’s time to change—time to carve pumpkins, pick apples, and watch football as we cozy up with the ones we love. It’s the season of togetherness, when we begin preparing for Thanksgiving—when we decorate the house, prepare a delicious meal, and invite our loved ones over to celebrate what we are most thankful for. We want to create a memorable Thanksgiving Day for our families because we remember how special Thanksgivings were for us growing up. The “ooohs” and “ahhhs” when the turkey came out of the kitchen, and Uncle Mike, yelling at his favorite football team as they fumble on Thanksgiving Day. We want to recreate those special memories for our families, because we know how fleeting those moments can be.

What if the thing you wanted most for your own family slipped out of your hands? What if it was out of your control? Hunger. One small word affects many people throughout Northeast Ohio, from the youngest to the elderly; Parents who lost their jobs or are working for low wages struggle to put food on the table for their children; Seniors on fixed incomes making decisions about whether to buy food or pay for necessary prescription medications. People in need face these types of decisions every day. Here at the Foodbank, we are helping more than 180,000 different people struggling with hunger in our community prepare for brighter days. We are telling them they are important, they matter, and when things get tight, they have community members fighting for them to help them make it through the rough times. Thank you for believing in our mission, and for helping us Feed People and Fight Hunger right here in our own backyard. Have a wonderful holiday season, and please remember, we are the most thankful for you, and the strong community you help us create.

Join our Hunger-Free Families campaign, and help those in need this holiday season. Details Inside


ACRT Inc. Akron Children’s Hospital Employee Foundation Allstate Insurance Company Barbicas Construction Co., Inc. Bridgestone/Firestone Buckeye Corrugated, Inc. Champaign Bank FirstMerit Foundation Hitachi Medical Systems of America, Inc. Lockheed Martin Mid American AG and Hort Services, Inc. Nationwide R.C. and Katharine Musson Charitable Foundation Robert O. & Annamae Orr Family Foundation The Giant Eagle Foundation The Hoover Foundation W.W. Williams Wal-Mart Store #1911 Westfield WeCare Will-Burt Company The Honor Roll recognizes our top supporters of the season. Thank you for believing in our mission, and for helping us to Feed People and Fight Hunger right here in our own backyard. Together, with our community members like you, we are the difference between hunger and hope. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

CONNECT WITH YOUR FOODBANK Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch our videos on YouTube Be an Advocate

Hunger-Free Families campaign brings hope to families facing hunger The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank invites you to join our Hunger-Free Families campaign, which inspires people to come together this holiday season to take action and help provide food to families struggling with hunger. In our community, as many as 180,000 people rely on the Foodbank for emergency food assistance each year. Many have to face tough decisions like whether to pay their heating bills or buy groceries. They turn to the Foodbank and its agencies in their time of need. Join hundreds of local companies, non-profit organizations, governmental bodies, schools, social groups and faith-based organizations in hosting food & funds drives to feed our neighbors in need this holiday season. Visit or contact Leslie Letner at or 330.777.7572 for more information. Financial Donations A tax-deductible gift is always welcome, which can be made online or via postal mail marked Hunger-Free Families. For every $1 that you donate, the Foodbank can provide four meals for the hungry!

butter, canned tuna, canned vegetables, canned beef stew, and canned soup. Double Your Dollar Day The Foodbank will hold its second “Double Your Dollar Day” on the traditionally largest online-shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday, November 26. For every $1 that is donated, generous friends of the Foodbank will make a matching gift. If you’d like to help or need more information, please visit Facebook Challenge Like the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank on Facebook, and a generous donor will donate $1 for every new Like starting Nov 29. Visit, click the Like button, and encourage your family and friends to do the same!

Food Donations The demand for emergency food is high, and we need your help. Food donations are welcome, especially the Super Six most needed food items: boxed cereal, peanut Staff accepts donations at Long Haul Against Hunger

Annual Taste of the NFL event scores donations The 2012 Taste of the NFL on September 18 at the beautiful new Event Center in the Pro Football Hall of Fame was a huge success. Record-breaking attendance and donations totaled enough to provide more than 720,000 meals. Tremendous thanks for the efforts of our co-chairs Gary Smith and Lara Wilson. The Foodbank would like to thank all of the guests, food and beverage providers, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame Enshrinees and sponsors, including the title sponsors—The Grainger Foundation and WAKR/WONE/WQMX/ ANN for making this great event possible. Special thanks to Meeker Wines distributed by Esber Beverage for their support of Taste of the NFL. Congratulations to Chef Benjamin Walsh from The Wooster Inn for being voted the night’s Grand Champion and winning the spot to represent the Foodbank and Hall of Fame at the 2014 Taste of the NFL event at the Super Bowl!

Molly Meeker from Meeker Vineyard

Dan Flowers with participants from The Wooster Inn

Come volunteer with us If you are walking through the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank on a Tuesday morning and hear laughter, don’t be surprised. That’s the sound of the “Tuesday Crew,” a group of 10 retirees—Jerry, Sharon, Ann, Verna, Mary, Paul, Tony, Margie, Pat and Linda—who’ve been volunteering at the Foodbank once a week for over two years. The moment you feel compassion, it changes you. The Tuesday Crew’s shared compassion has allowed this group of strangers to become friends, driving them to volunteer each week so others may have a healthy dinner on the table for their family. “We like to do volunteering that is rewarding and tangible. People are getting food and real help because of what we’re doing. Not to mention, we like the job security here,” Tony said, as the group laughed. “I grew up poor,” Margie adds. “My father didn’t make a lot of money and we ate a lot of potato soup, bologna, bean soup, stuff that you could spread out for seven people. I volunteer and donate here because I’m able to give back. I’ve felt what it’s like to be on the other side of the table. I’ve seen first-hand

that volunteering my time is actually going towards people that don’t have the things that I am blessed to have. Not to mention, the people we volunteer with are a blast.” People in our community receive food assistance because this group of volunteers is willing to sort groceries, stuff bags, check meat and complete each task they are requested to do. The power of a group coming together to help complete strangers is immeasurable, and we are blessed to have the dedication of the “Tuesday Crew” here at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. You can’t explain compassion; you just have to feel it. We invite you to volunteer with the Tuesday Crew, or create your own group. Simply call the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank at 330.535.6900, and ask how you can help.

DATES TO REMEMBER Hunger-Free Families campaign NOVEMBER & DECEMBER Long Haul Against Hunger Drive by and Donate Event NOVEMBER 16 Double Your Dollar Day NOVEMBER 26 Facebook Challenge November 29 WKSU On-Air Challenge NOVEMBER 29-30 Polar Bear Jump FEBRUARY 26 For event details, visit

Speakers Bureau Would you like to learn more about the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and how you can get involved in the fight against hunger in Northeast Ohio?

The Tuesday Crew

Schedule a speaker for your business, faith-based group, civic organization, youth group or school today! Speakers can present a variety of topics including: • The current state of hunger in your community. • Volunteer opportunities at the Foodbank. • Information on Foodbank events and campaigns like Harvest for Hunger, HungerFree Families, Taste of the NFL and Plant a Row for the Hungry. • How to get involved and advocate to make a difference in the fight against hunger.

Polar Bear jumpers will take the plunge to fight hunger Freezing bodies and warm hearts is the theme of the Annual Polar Bear Jump. The Portage Lakes Polar Bear Club is hosting their 9th Annual Polar Bear Jump. Participants will spend Saturday afternoon, February 26, 2013 jumping into the freezing Portage Lakes, to benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Sign up to jump, gather support, and collect pledges to the Foodbank. For details and to register, please visit

Dan Flowers takes the plunge into Portage Lakes

Please contact the Foodbank at 330.535.6900 for more information.

Hunger Action Month was a success September was Hunger Action Month,

to wear orange, the color of hunger relief,

when we asked everyone in our

or to Go Orange digitally by donating

community to take action to fight

their Facebook status or a tweet to the

hunger in our area by speaking out, all

Foodbank and Hunger Action Month. Lastly,

month long. Why speak out? Because

we asked our supporters to “Meet Kate.”

the nearly 49 million Americans who

Kate represents one of the 95,000 children

struggle with hunger often do so in

who struggle with hunger in our area.

silence. They live in our communities; they are our neighbors, our co-workers,

Have you met Kate? Learn more about Kate

To conitinue advocacy effors throughout

and our friends, yet their struggles

at Thank you to those

the year, join the Foodbank’s Advocacy

can go unheard. By simply lending

who participated in Hunger Action Month!

Network by visiting

your voice, you could make a tangible contribution in the fight to end hunger. Hunger Action Month gave people the opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our effort to feed more hungry men, women and children than before. All 202 food banks across the country within the Feeding America network participated in this movement, while locally, community members participated in the 30 Ways in 30 Days campaign, with 30 quick and easy ways they could help fight hunger in our community. We also challenged people

On Sep 6, Foodbank staff and Kate participated in “GO ORANGE” day by wearing orange in support of Hunger Action Month.

The other side of the table Hundreds of families line up to obtain food assistance each month at the Salvation Army in Barberton because of the direct food distribution program operated by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Simply stated, direct food distribution is when the Foodbank’s trucks pull into

that Mimi was not always a volunteer. Her family began coming to the Salvation Army because it was a “safe place,” a place of hope at a time when Selina was trying to get her family away from an abusive situation at home. A short

a designated location with donated

three years ago, her family was on the

food for families to take home. Member

other side of the food distribution table,

agencies like the Salvation Army are vital

coming to the Salvation Army for food

to the mission of the Foodbank because

and emotional support. When her family

more than 1 in 6 Ohio residents are food

finally got back on its feet, Selina realized

insecure, meaning they lack consistent

she wanted to “pay it forward” to others

access to a nutritious, well-balanced diet.

in need. Now, she and her family come twice a week to volunteer their time.

One of the volunteers at the direct

Mimi is one of many volunteers paying it forward

distribution, a little girl named Mimi was

This is just one story, one family out of

among the people in the crowded room.

the hundreds who found themselves

Mimi is in the fifth grade and this is her

looking for help at the Salvation Army,

third year volunteering with the Salvation

an Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

Army. She glides along the floors of the

food distribution site. Because of the

Salvation Army, hugging and greeting

Foodbank’s programs, volunteers like

each food recipient as well as her fellow

Mimi and her family have a chance

volunteers. Mimi’s mom, Selina, explained

to offer hope to those they meet.

If you know anyone who might be interested in receiving this newsletter, or if you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please contact the Marketing Department at or 330.535.6900. Thank you for joining the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank in the fight to end hunger.

Foodbank FOCUS Fall 2012  

Foodbank FOCUS Fall 2012

Foodbank FOCUS Fall 2012  

Foodbank FOCUS Fall 2012