CANTON (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – With the onset of the coronavirus and thousands of area students soon to be out of school, one area organization will be increasing its efforts to make sure everyone is fed.

The Stark County Hunger Task Force will be providing additional food services starting on Monday. The organization tells WHBC News that its emergency pantry at the Ken Weber Community Center at Goodwill will increase the amount of pantry visits per household, per month.

Households can now visit the emergency pantry twice a month, starting on Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3. The pantry is located at 408 9th Street SW, Canton, OH.

Clients must pick up a ticket at the Ken Weber Community Campus to receive services. Tickets will be available starting at 7:30 AM Monday through Friday.  They will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

The Hours for the emergency pantry are below.

Mondays and Wednesdays: 9:15 AM – 3:35 PM

Tuesdays: 9:15 AM – 2:35 PM

Thursdays and Fridays: 9:15 AM – 1:35 PM

With the increase of services, the Stark County Hunger Task Force will be looking for extra volunteers.

Additionally, the Stark County Hunger Task Force tells WHBC News that it is aware of the extra financial burden that families will be facing with the recent school closures.

With local school districts providing food services Monday-Friday, their “Backpack for Kids” program helps fill the gap during the weekend.

Backpacks are grocery bags full of ready made food; two breakfasts, two lunches, 2 snacks, juice, and fresh fruit. For the next three weeks they will be distributing bags to Stark County children in need.

On Friday March 20th , March 27th , and April 3rd parents and/or guardians can pick up backpacks from 10am-2pm at the Ken Weber Community Campus.

Clients will be asked to pick up Backpacks by using the door on the McKinley Ave. side of the building that is marked for Goodwill donations.

There will be ample signage directing you to the appropriate entrance. Children do not need to be present to receive food. Clients must present a photo ID.

Those with questions about of Backpack for Kids program, contact Assistant Director, Stephanie Sweany at [email protected]