With Kids at Home, Hunger Task Force Providing Greater Access

CANTON, Ohio (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – The Stark County Hunger Task Force is coming to the rescue when it comes to children who normally get their meals at school.

The food pantry at the Ken Weber Campus at Goodwill on 9th Street SW in Canton will provide extra pantry visits for customers this month.

There are also backpacks for weekends for the kids.

Here’s the information released by the Stark County Hunger Task Force:

The Stark County Hunger Task Force officials are dedicated to fighting hunger in Stark County. With the onset of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ohio and the recent closure of all Ohio schools, we are amping up our efforts to feed our Stark County neighbors.

•Our emergency pantry at the Ken Weber Community Campus at Goodwill is increasing the amount of pantry visits per household per month. Households can now visit our emergency pantry twice a month. This will be effective Monday March 16th-Friday April 3rd. Our pantry is located at 408 9th St. SW Canton, OH 44707. Clients must pick up a ticket at the Ken Weber Community Campus to receive services. These tickets are available M-F starting at 7:30am and are distributed on a first come, first served basis. The hours for the emergency pantry are Mondays and Wednesdays 9:15am-3:35pm, Tuesdays 9:15am-2:35pm, and Thursdays and Fridays 9:15am-1:35pm. Clients must present a photo ID. With increased services we are looking for new volunteers to get involved. If you are interested in volunteering in our pantry, contact Operations Manager, Steve Smith at [email protected].

•Our agency is aware of the extra financial burden that families will be facing with the recent school closures. Local school districts are doing an amazing job providing food services Monday-Friday. Our 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 we 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. If you have any questions about of Backpack for Kids program, contact Assistant Director, Stephanie Sweany at [email protected]. To sign up to volunteer for the Backpack program here:

•Clients for both programs will need to meet income guidelines that are set by the USDA. Clients do not need to provide proof of income.

With the increased demand for emergency food services, we also have an increased need for donations to continue our hunger fighting efforts. You can make a donation online at starkhunger.org.

Call our offices at 330-455-6667 if you have any questions.