The Campaign to 
Reach Further & Feed More


We Need Your Help to Meet the Meal Gap

Northeast Ohio is a remarkable community. One that cares for our neighbors and protects our vulnerable populations. Hunger is a complex problem, but it can be solved. 

Imagine a community free of hunger, one with regular access to healthy, affordable foods. A community that is connected not only to food, but to local resources and to one another. People who are nourished in both body and spirit. 

Together, we can give every child, every family and every senior citizen in Northeast Ohio the resources they need for a healthy hunger-free life. Together, we will change the history of hunger relief.

Eggs spilling out of a basket
Identifying the Meal Gap

In 2015, when the Foodbank launched its strategic plan, data revealed that there was a Meal Gap in the region served by the Foodbank — a difference between what was needed to feed food-insecure households compared to what was available to those households through the Foodbank’s network.

Capacity Constraints

Today, the Foodbank is distributing more food than ever anticipated from the Akron facility and the organization is strained for capacity. In the past decade, meals provided to the communities we serve have grown from 10.8 million in 2007, to 25.2 million in 2019. We are getting closer each year to meeting the Meal Gap. The impact of early investments in the Foodbank and the Akron facility have continued to pay off, but to continue this momentum, we must grow.

Reach Further, Feed More

Progress to meet the Meal Gap has been made, but there is still significant work to be done. Our strategic work will not cease until we are providing enough food for all who need it in our region. We cannot reach this milestone without expanding our capacity and growing our network.

Assorted vegetables laid out

Changing the History of Hunger Relief

The Foodbank envisions a hunger-free future where there’s enough food for everyone and it’s easily accessible for all who need it. Growing for Good is an $11.5 million capital campaign that will help us achieve our vision of a thriving community free of hunger. 

The project has two components:
To reach further, the Foodbank must expand its capacity. Storage constraints in the current facility are limiting the meals that can be distributed. Neither food sourcing nor food distribution will grow significantly until the Foodbank constructs and opens a secondary campus to support increased storage and distribution capacity.

To feed more, the Foodbank must grow its network. The Foodbank has always been a regional network, but there are still areas of high need that have minimal hunger-relief programs within the Foodbank’s eight-county service region. With a broader physical footprint, and a secondary location to create greater regional access, the Foodbank’s network can open new hunger-relief programs to reach communities where individuals may still be missing meals.

Current Network
1 location distribution Map
New Network
2 location distribution map

Impact: A Thriving Community Free of Hunger

This project is critical in order to provide enough food for all who are food insecure in our community. Neighbors in need will be connected to healthy food, community resources and to one another. The following metrics will demonstrate the impact of the investment:


  1. Increase Regional Capacity for Food Distribution
    The Foodbank and its network will meet the annual Meal Gap by 2025.
  2. Increase Reach in Communities of Need
    The Foodbank will increase reach in areas of need by engaging 200-300 new hunger-relief programs by 2025.
  3. Engage More Volunteers
    The Foodbank will engage 15,000 volunteers annually by 2025 at both the Akron and Canton facilities.
  4. Prioritize Healthy Food Distribution
    Expanded refrigerated capacity and health-focused partnerships will allow the Foodbank to reach a distribution of fresh produce that represents 25 percent of total meals distributed annually by 2025.

Future Stark County Campus

The innovative, 40,000 square foot campus will help increase food distribution, foster collaboration among partners, pilot new food security initiatives and engage the broader community.

A teaching kitchen will be available for food-related training and educational activities.

The Stark County Campus will offer volunteer opportunities, meeting space and collaborative work space.

Additional storage capacity in the Stark County Campus will help the Foodbank source and distribute even more meals to the community.

The new campus will welcome individuals, organizations and corporate groups for a memorable volunteer experience.

Hunger-relief partners will have ample space to pick up their food orders.

Ample parking space will better serve hunger-relief partners picking up food.

A facility in Canton will save hunger-relief partners volunteer and staff time, in addition to fuel costs.

Collaborative meeting space will be available for the community and other partners dedicated to food security initiatives.

A food pantry and resource center will provide an integrated approach to building family stability and self-reliance. 

Take a tour of the future Stark County Campus.

Akron Campus Expansion

The expansion of the Akron campus will enhance and streamline the customer experience for our hunger-relief partners. 

Relocated partner distribution docks will allow for safer and more efficient loading and distribution.

 A new network partner welcome center will greet all hunger-relief partners picking up food orders.

Expanded dry, cooler and freezer storage will help increase building capacity and fresh food distribution.

Testimonials from
Our Community

Janelle Lee

There is hunger in our community, especially within our youth population. I want to help create resources, opportunities and solutions for hunger relief. I believe in and support the mission, vision and goals of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and will do what I can to be an advocate and help fight against hunger.


Janelle Lee, Campaign Co-Chair, Director of Client Engagement, MAGNET 

William C. Shivers

People do not choose to be in need… but, we can choose to help. I think it’s easy to forget that, in the end, it’s a family with kids, a grandparent raising grandchildren, or a senior on a fixed income that eventually benefit from our campaign efforts. It’s not a simple transaction of donating a dollar, but remembering the humanity of the people needing help. We are all in this together.


William C. Shivers, Campaign Co-Chair, Regional President, The Huntington Bank’s Canton and Mahoning Valley Regions

Jenn Dyer

This campaign will help the Foodbank provide enough food for all, ultimately achieving our vision of a thriving community free of hunger. We have assessed the needs of the community and have thought innovatively to ensure the Foodbank has the greatest impact on food insecurity for our local communities. We strive to be connected in service.


Jenn Dyer, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Director, Operations

Greg Long

The successful completion of this campaign, and the construction of a distribution facility in Canton, will make for a more efficient distribution of food to hunger-relief programs in the southern part of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s footprint.


Greg Long, Foodbank Board Treasurer, Shareholder, Long, Cook & Samsa, Inc

Jill Penrose

At The J. M. Smucker Co., we believe success is defined as thriving together with the communities where we live and work – and that starts right in our own backyard. We are deeply appreciative of what we have achieved in partnership with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and are thrilled to expand that support through Growing for Good as we continue to work together to realize their inspiring vision of a thriving community free of hunger.


Jill Penrose, Chief People and Administrative Officer, The J. M. Smucker Co.

Mark J. Samolczyk

Stark Community Foundation chose to invest in the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and Growing for Good because it closely aligns with our initiative to fight food insecurity in Stark County. The Foundation’s Future of Food Security whitepaper identified the creation of a local food hub as a key goal in order to make a meaningful impact in addressing local food issues and to give way to true opportunities. Our $1 million grant to help construct this hub in Canton will not only improve the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and its operations, but also the network of hunger-relief partners serving residents across Stark County.


Mark J. Samolczyk, President and CEO, Stark Community Foundation

Mark Smucker

Our entire organization is passionate about ending hunger. In this spirit, we are proud to be a long-time partner of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and excited to be expanding our support through a $1 million commitment to Growing for Good. With the physical expansion and enhanced capacity, this campaign will support the Foodbank to be in a position to meet 100 percent of the annual Meal Gap in the region by 2025. But we can only get there together. We urge others to support this important initiative and help achieve the inspiring vision of a thriving community free of hunger.


Mark Smucker, President and Chief Executive Officer, The J.M. Smucker Co.

Lorna Wisham

The FirstEnergy Foundation collaborates with organizations that make our communities stronger and more sustainable. As one of our most vital local organizations, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is leading the fight against hunger by providing thousands of families in our community with access to millions of meals each year. The Foundation and our employees share the Foodbank’s dedication to ending food insecurity in our region, and we proudly support Growing for Good. 


Lorna Wisham, President, FirstEnergy Foundation; Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Community Involvement, FirstEnergy Corporation

Chuck Hoover

It’s important to provide healthy foods and to have them available for people in their own neighborhoods. We’re blessed to have the Foodbank as a resource to get that food to the people who really need it.


Chuck Hoover, Chair, The Hoover Foundation

Larry Hoover

The Hoover Foundation began supporting the Foodbank 15 years ago. Now that they’re planning to put a distribution center in Canton, which will help our area immensely, we’re supporting the Foodbank quite a bit more now. The Foodbank brings great value to our community.


Larry Hoover, Trustee, The Hoover Foundation


We are beyond grateful to the individuals, organizations and businesses in our community who have supported Growing for Good. These partners realize that one hungry person in Northeast Ohio is too many. We want to thank each and every supporter who has invested in this significant community resource, for investing in a future where we all thrive. 

Together, we can and will change the history of hunger relief in our community.


Assorted fruit piled in a basket

Leadership Investors  $500K+


  • American Electric Power Foundation
  • Danbury Senior Living
  • Development Fund of the Western Reserve, Inc.
  • FirstEnergy Foundation
  • The Jeffrey Fisher Family
  • The Hoover Foundation
  • Bill & Pearl Lemmon
  • The Keith D. Monda Family
  • Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton
  • The J.M. Smucker Co.
  • Stark Community Foundation

Distinguished Investors  $100K+

  • Aultman Health Foundation
  • Alan & Janice Woll
  • City of Canton
  • Giant Eagle
  • GOJO Industries, Inc.
  • Harvey & Kim Nelson
  • Huntington Akron Foundation
  • Massillon Cable TV
  • Ralph R. and Grace B. Jones Foundation
  • Sequoia Financial Group, LLC
  • State of Ohio capital funding
  • Terry J. Nolan Family & Standard Printing Company
  • The Beaver Excavating Company
  • The George H. Deuble Foundation
  • The Gessner Family Foundation
  • The Goodyear Foundation
  • The Mary S. & David C. Corbin Foundation
  • The Paul & Carol David Foundation
  • Timken Foundation of Canton
  • Werner-Marsh Family
  • Westfield

Community Investors  $15K+

  • Gary Benz
  • Amanda Montgomery
  • Anonymous (3)
  • Bauhart Family
  • Bill & Cindy Artman
  • Bill & Ginny Post
  • Dan & Holly Flowers
  • GAR Foundation
  • Gary & Olivia Mull
  • Joan Marsh
  • Kristen Manes
  • Logsdon Family Foundation
  • Marcella & John Emmons
  • Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust
  • Milton Wiskind
  • Roger Read
  • Sherri & Frank Monaco
  • Suart & Sheri Glauberman
  • The Sisler McFawn Foundation
  • William & Lori Shivers

Additional Support

  • Anonymous

  • James & Lisa Backlin

  • Colleen & Joel Benson

  • Jim & Denise Bowen

  • Renaye Brauning

  • The Honorable Alison Breaux & Dr. Todd Breaux

  • Nick Browning

  • Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust

  • Gina Campbell

  • Jerod Cherry

  • The Civiello Family

  • James & Renee Conlon

  • The Crabtree Family

  • Jo Dangel & Diane Kovachik

  • Maureen DeSanzo & Family

  • Jennifer Dyer

  • Becky & Rob Falck

  • Randy & Pam Frame

  • Leslie & Jim Genovese

  • Debra & James Hagarty

  • Kristin C. Hannon

  • John Herzig

  • Michelle & George Hinton

  • The James V. and Velia Armogida Charitable Fund

  • The Lee Family Foundation

  • The Lehner Family Foundation

  • Wendy Lichtenwalter

  • Terry & Lauren Link

  • Lloyd L. and Louise K. Smith Memorial Foundation

  • Michael & Amy Mast

  • Steve Mastin

  • Kirk & Annie McCauley

  • Eliot & Michelle Mostow

  • Jill M. Oldham

  • The Pablo Javier Rozenbom Charitable Trust Fund

  • Jim Porter

  • Laura S. Query

  • Kurt Reed & Katie Carver Reed

  • Marilyn Sessions

  • John & Karen Sheppard

  • Pamela Simpson

  • Tim & Elaine Sisler

  • Michael Smith & Jill Penrose Smith

  • The Walter K. and Wilda E. Bortz Fund

  • Bernett L. Williams

  • Michael Wilson & Patrick Bravo

  • Dorothy & John Wiseman

The Team that’s
Leading the Charge

Janelle Lee, Co-Chair


William Shivers, Co-Chair

The Huntington National Bank

Rob Bowers


Nick Browning

The Huntington National Bank

Nate Chester III

Chester’s Mop Shop

Tom Haught

Sequoia Financial Group LLC

John Herzig

Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes

Terry Link

Roetzel & Andress

Greg Long

Long, Cook & Samsa, Inc.

Steve Mastin

BASEC Management Inc.

Jim Porter

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Marilyn Sessions

Hometown Bank

Mark Sterling

The Beaver Excavating Company

Donation Amount

Your automatic monthly gift will help feed our hungry neighbors all year long!

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Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization. Donations made may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Flour Cheese Blocks

The vision of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is a thriving community free of hunger.

Learn more about how to get involved with the
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

350 Opportunity Parkway Akron, OH 44307-2234