Posted by Terrence Dalton
Daniel R. Flowers
President and CEO
Katie Carver Reed
Director, Network Partners and Programs
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
The Rotary Club of Akron had the pleasure of listening to Dan Flowers and Katie Carver Reed at our Tuesday, August 31st Club meeting.   Ms. Carver Reed and Mr. Flowers shared with the Club information about the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
The presentation can be viewed by clicking here or copy and paste this link into your browser 
The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is a non-profit organization with a mission to Feed People and Fight Hunger. Mr. Flowers stated that in 2021, 1 in 7 people in Northeast Ohio will face hunger, and the Foodbank will be there to help. The Foodbank is the source of emergency food for 500 food pantries, hot meal sites shelters and other hunger-relief programs that directly serve individuals and families in Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. The Foodbank, with its supporters and partners are leading the fight to end hunger in the communities they serve. In 2020, it distributed over $45 million of food, locally for people in need.
The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank was formed in 1982 by a group of community leaders who made a commitment to provide emergency food to our neighbors in need.
The Foodbank is a distribution center that provides an efficient operation to collect, sort and distribute food. The Foodbank has an 83,000 square foot warehouse including 8,000 square feet of refrigeration and freezer space at the Akron location and another 45,000 square foot facility in a newly opened facility in Canton.
The Foodbank secures food donations from corporate food donors, state and federal food assistance programs, and Feeding America, the national food bank network. Food is also obtained through a purchase program where large quantities of food are purchased at reduced price to offer to its network of hunger-relief programs. This purchase program is supported by financial donations. Much of the donated and purchased food is transported to the warehouses by the Foodbank's fleet of trucks.
The Volunteer Center is where donated food is inspected, sorted, and repackaged in preparation for distribution. Volunteers provide thousands of hours of support every year, helping to prepare this food for those in need. Every day, the Foodbank's hunger-relief programs place food orders and pick up these orders at the warehouse. The programs provide this food through their food pantries, hot meal sites, or shelters to the hungry in their community or neighborhood. The Foodbank feeds approximately 263,200 people through this network of programs every year.  The COVID pandemic has had an impact with the use of volunteers.  The pandemic has also resulted in a large increase in demand for food because of individuals losing their jobs and not having the ability to purchase food without the help of the Foodbank.
One in Seven residents of Summit County are living with food insecurity.  Food insecurity refers to the USDA’s measure of lack of regular access to nutritional food for an active and healthy life. Feeding America estimates that the food insecurity rate in Summit County is 13.8 percent of the total population, 74,960 individuals. The child food insecurity rate is 19.1 percent, 21,800 children.
In 2020, the Akron-Canton Foodbank distributed 12,639,757 pounds of food and essential items to families in need in Summit County, the equivalent of 10,231,858 meals. Of that, 2,588,618 pounds was fresh, nutritious produce, which was distributed for free.
Akron-Canton Foodbank Hunger Facts:
  • 1 in 7 individuals in our service area is food insecure, meaning they lack regular access to safe and nutritious food
  • More than 1 in 5 children in our service area is food insecure
  • 30 percent of the members of households served by the Foodbank are children under the age of 18 years old
  • 10 percent of the members of households served by the Foodbank are senior citizens
The Foodbank collaborates in many different ways and leverages resources in many different ways.  The Foodbank collaborated with DoorDash to directly deliver food to homes during the pandemic.  Over 15,000 deliveries have occurred to date.  The Foodbank has also implemented “Order Ahead” which allows individuals to order online.  Individuals are then able to order online and have their food delivered by DoorDash when transportation presents a barrier for individuals to access food.  In addition, the Foodbank has installed a Kiosk at their location for individuals to order food.
For additional information about the Akron-Canton Foodbank, their programs and information on other hunger facts, please visit their website at