Response to Hunger: Summer 2013

Hours modified for our Goodwill Campus pantry

To better serve the growing numbers of residents experiencing food insecurity, Stark County Hunger Task Force (SCHTF) adjusted hours for the emergency pantry at 408 9th St. SW in June.

Reorganized hours for food distribution at the pantry in the Community Campus at Goodwill are: Mondays from 9:15 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9:15 a.m. to 1:35 p.m.; and Fridays from 9:15 a.m. to 4:35 p.m.

The adjustment follows a review of the numbers and times of pantry visits over the past year. The emergency pantry takes two visitors every 15 minutes. Visitors check in at the Goodwill reception desks, at 9th St. and McKinley Ave., and pick up time tickets, which are preprinted for five-to-10 minute intervals.

We furnished food assistance through this pantry to more than 22,000 individuals from 6,404 households during 2012 – up from some 12,000 individuals from more than 4,000 households in the previous year.

We are currently serving an average of 2,670 individuals from more than 700 households each month.

Greetings from the Stark County Hunger Task Force

Oh, summertime! What a wonderful time of year with the sun shining and the birds chirping as you wake in the morning. How I look forward to this time of year- every year.

The Stark County Hunger Task Force serves free groceries to 8,000 children each month in Stark County. This same time of year can be stressful on these children and their families as school is out of session, and this means no free or reduced breakfasts and lunches. Now, our neighboring families have to supply their children with these meals for the next three months. This is where we step in and help.

In our country with high tech smart phones and Donald Trumps, there should be no hunger – let alone child hunger. About one out of every four children is hungry in this country and right here in Stark County. We call on your support to help feed these high energized children. Think about it, they are no longer sitting in classes all day. They are running and jumping all day to keep up with their friends and the activity they are involved it. This means more calories burned; hence, the need for more food.

Our donations are typically down during the summer with the need rising. As you know, the SCHTF operates on the generosity of our neighbors to hand out free groceries. Please consider a donation during this rough time. Remember, for every dollar you donate, we can place seven pounds of food on our shelves.




Amy Weisbrod

Executive Director

Click here to donate.





















Trailer load – Trooper R. J. Simone and Joanne M. Caplea of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Post 76 delivered some 3,700 pounds of food collected during the “Can the Cruiser” drive to pantries of Stark County Hunger Task Force.

Troopers join our legion of hunger fighters

Food dragnet nabs 3,700 pounds

Troopers and staff from Ohio State Highway Patrol Canton Post 76 filled cruiser after cruiser with non-perishable food items during three Saturday collections in June.

The drives stocked Stark County Hunger Task Force (SCHTF) pantry shelves with 3,700 pounds of food, as we continue each month to feed some 25,000 of our neighbors suffering from food insecurity.

Trooper R.J. Simone and Joanne Caplea of Post 76 delivered the trailer load of food to SCHTF Monday.

The stops for the “Can the Cruiser” drive included Walmart on the Strip; Buehler’s Fresh Foods on Fulton Dr., and Fishers Foods at 44th St. NW and Cleveland Ave. – an excellent job by the troopers, staff and volunteers of Post 76 and great support from the community.

Legions carry on the battle

SCHTF welcomes community partners and individuals interested in supporting the fight against hunger with food drives to contact the office at 330-455-6667 or go to donate for assistance, ideas and support.

The efforts of the legion of community groups, businesses, schools and individuals who organized food drives, little and large, are greatly appreciated and contribute significantly to the efforts of our network of pantries to feed the hungry.

Drives and donations included: Heinz Frozen Food Company, North Canton Jaycees, J.M. Smucker Co. through C. Massouh Printing, North Canton Public Library, Quaker Steak and Lube, Fisher Foods, Kirsten Boswell, Transitions U, Dueber Elementary School – 4th Grade, North Canton YMCA, Harter Elementary School PTO, Bureau of Vocational Rehab (BVR), JMT Cartage Inc., Trinity United Church of Christ — Canal Fulton, Center for Integrated Health & Wellness LLC, Hartville Church of the Brethren, Sterling House of Canton, Kempthorn – Gullivers Travel Plaza, Milk and Honey, Giant Eagle, Stark County District Library, Buehlers Fresh Foods, Grace United Church, Linda Shaull, Johanne Simone, Betty Toy, Diebold Retirees, Canton Rotary, Canton Charge and Palace Theater.

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Incoming – SCHTF volunteer Mark Esposito (right) directs retired postal worker Gary Kamerer pushing a large hamper of food to one of the pantry vehicles during the Stamp Out Hunger collection.

Letter Carriers deliver 47,000 pounds of food

Collections of non-perishable food items during Stamp Out Hunger in May put more than 47,000 pounds of food on the tables of our neighbors suffering through food insecurity.

Carriers from National Association of Letter Carriers AFL-CIO Hall of Fame Branch No. 238 enlisted in the fight against hunger May 11 by picking up non-perishable food items placed by mail boxes throughout the county.

Carriers working their routes picked up and returned to their post offices with more than 47,000 pounds of non-perishable food that was distributed through the Stark County Hunger Task Force.

Twenty-eight of our network pantries shared the donations. This annual food drive provides dependable collections during late spring – a valuable asset for our pantries.

Kudos to our 2012 Partner of the Year, Hall of Fame Branch No. 238, for spearheading this food drive locally in cooperation with the US Postal Service.

We especially appreciate the kindness and good humor of every single postal worker we encountered during the event. The carriers and volunteer site coordinators did an outstanding job collecting and helping distribute the food.

We recognize all the extra work that picking up the food at the mail boxes and distributing it on return to the post offices makes for carriers. 


Golfers score for hungry neighbors

Eighty-eight joined the field as golfers and emerged as hunger fighters raising some $12,000 during the CSE Federal Credit Union Fairways to Fight Hunger outing May 4.

The event, benefiting Stark County Hunger Task Force (SCHTF), brought golfers of all skill levels to the links of Tam O’Shanter for a challenging 18-hole scramble.

On the score sheet, Team Willaman (Adam Willaman, Murray Mast, Gary Pohovey and Nick Hull) carded a 60 to take first place for the day. But our food insecure neighbors proved to be the real winners as every dollar raised provided seven pounds of food for the hungry.

The event on the challenging, picturesque hills course featured a barbecue dinner and auction.

The success of the event attests, in great part, to the generosity of our sponsors and the hard work of our volunteers and event committee, chaired by Yvonne Peterson, SCHTF board member.

Sponsors included: Supporting Sponsor, CSE Federal Credit Union

Major Sponsors: Pro Machine Inc. and WRL Advertising

Hole Sponsors: Alliance Publishing Co.; Anheuser-Busch; Aultcare – Acute Care Specialty Hospital; B&B Surplus; Dad’s Tobacco Shop; Terhune Dental; Family Memorials of Canton; Irish Exchange; Landstar Transportation Logistics; Mercy Golf Fitness Program; North Canton Repair Shop; Pro Machine Inc.; Redda Latona and Terri Patterson, SCHTF board members; Stef Fakelis, board member, and Michael Fakelis; Waikem Auto Group; Waynesburg Carriage, and Witmer Financial

We were also supported by community businesses and individuals through donations for door prizes, the silent auction and goody bags.

For photos go the golf outing album on Facebook.(log on first)

Sommeliers bottle tips totaling more than $16,000

Saluting the Guest Sommeliers for the wine and dinner event Feb. 9 at Bender’s Tavern at 137 Court Ave. SW, Canton that raised more than $16,000.

The proceeds from the event translated to 112,000 pounds of food for our network of some 30 pantries.

Lead by 2011 Hunger Fighter of the Year, Dr. Michael Linz, the cadre of wine connoisseurs including David DePasquale and Drs. David Linz and Dean Borth provided suggestions from Bender’s wine cellar as diners place orders. In return tips for the sommeliers benefited the Stark County Hunger Task Force.

A tip of the hat also to Jon Jacob of Bender’s for their continuing support of Guest Sommeliers Night and local artist Joe Martino who donated a painting, which was auctioned during the festivities.

Shelves for more than 293,000 county residents stocked

Stark County Hunger Task Force (SCHTF) posted another record year providing an estimated 3.5 million pounds of food to the hungry of Stark County during 2012.

Stark County food insecurity rate:

The latest statistics (2011) show the county with a 15.3 percent food insecurity rate. SCHTF officials report greatly increased traffic through the network of more than two-and-a-half dozen pantries every year for the past three.

Stark County Hunger Task Force provided free groceries system-wide in 2012 to:

  • 293,000 individuals — an increase of 13 percent compared to 2011
  • 25,000 of our neighbors each month

Pantry in the Community Campus at Goodwill, 408 9th St. SW, 2012:

  • Served 22,000 individuals from 6,404 households
  • Up from 12,000 individuals from 4,000 households in 2011
  • 426 individuals a week from 123 households
  • 39 percent children
  • 10 percent senior citizens
  • 51 percent adults

Food distributed through this pantry:

  • More than 266,000 pounds of groceries and produce to individuals
  • 112,000 pounds distributed to other network pantries

Food donations and purchases:

  • 280,000 pounds donated
  • Almost 24,000 in fresh produce from local growers
  • Food purchases:
  • 98,000 pounds purchased from the Akron-Canton Food Bank

The numbers plainly show that of those one in six of our neighbors facing bare kitchen shelves, 23.8 percent nearly one in four are children (higher than the national average), and 10 percent of seniors face food insecurity. This forces many of those neighbors to choose between food and heat or food and medicine.

Although food and monetary donations also increased, the need continues to grow. Like community service organizations everywhere, SCHTF officials anticipate an increased strain on government support programs and the availability of food and monetary donations due repercussions of the federal “sequester.”

The Stark County Hunger Task Force pantry in the Community Campus at Goodwill, 408 9th St. SW, serves as a prime example of the increasing demand.


SCORE also serves non-profits

By Mike Johnson, SCORE district director

Last autumn the Canton Regional Chapter of SCORE conducted a business planning workshop for Stark County Hunger Task Force staff and its board of trustees.

Which leads to a frequently asked question: What is SCORE? The short answer: We are a national organization of business executives – both retired and active – that has provided cost-free counsel to small businesses since 1964. The Canton Regional Chapter was founded in 1990.

Although SCORE long has been known for counseling for-profit existing and start-up businesses, we are less well-known as a source of assistance for non-profits.

The Canton Regional Chapter includes 37 business veterans – men and women – who represent a range of industries. Collectively our members possess expertise and skills to successfully address virtually every aspect of running any business, whether for-profit or non-profit.

During fiscal year 2012 Canton Regional Chapter members conducted some 350 counseling sessions with area businesses. In addition, we conducted 19 workshops that cover such topics as building a business plan, establishing metrics and tracking progress against goals, creating a marketing plan and cash management.

In addition to counseling, SCORE also welcomes men and women who might want to join SCORE as one of our volunteer counselors. SCORE can be contacted at or 330.244.3280. Our web address is


Eying this year’s battle to alleviate hunger

By Amy Weisbrod, Executive Director

Dear hunger fighters,

Happy Spring!  The crocuses have bloomed, tulips, hyacinths and daffodils are not far behind.  This is the season of rebirth.   What does this mean for hunger fighting?  It means we are analyzing our 2012 efforts to fight local hunger and planning for a spectacular and successful hunger fighting 2013!

In 2012, the Stark County Hunger Task Force served 25,000 Stark County residents every month.  What exactly does this entail for the SCHTF and the identified 16.7 percent of Stark County residents who struggle with hunger?  The SCHTF is a support organization for over 30 pantries in Stark County.  We are the support system for the front line (pantries) in fighting hunger.  We also operate our own pantry at the Community Campus at Goodwill five days a week.  Our pantries receive financial, logistical and operational support from our organization.  We are one of a kind in Stark County and one of few in the entire state.

Our support comes from you!  Thank you, local hunger fighters, for contributing to our cause and placing free groceries into the hands of our neighbors in need.  We do not sell a service or a product.  This means that our entire operational support comes from our fundraising efforts, local businesses, churches, civic groups, schools and individuals pledging to fight hunger.

Stark County, you make a difference!  We served more than 300,000 individuals in 2012 and handed out 3.5 million pounds of food to 9,000 children, 4,000 seniors and 12,000 adults each month right here in Stark County.  We could not have reached these record levels of support without your generosity.

We have many happening events planned for 2013.  To kick off our hunger fighting fundraising, Benders Tavern team up with Dr. Michael Linz for their signature Sommelier Night to raise an astounding $16,000 to feed the hungry.  On May 4, the SCHTF will hold its signature golf outing at Tam O’Shanter.

Are you on the running/walking kick?  We are launching out first annual 5K run/walk on the Stark Park Trail starting at the Villa at Gervasi and ending with a family fun-filled festival and award ceremony.  Following that event, we are hosting an art exhibit at the Canton Museum of Art for 24 artists: 12 potters and 12 painters who will commission a piece of art in the name of hunger fighting on Oct. 4 through Oct. 18 followed by an art charity auction, Palette2Palate on the evening of Oct. 19th, 2013.

Sound like we are busy fighting hunger?  We are!  If you would like to participate in some behind the scenes hunger fighting in organizing events, food drives, coin drives, please contact me or my dedicated colleague Ralph Norton at 330-455-6667.  We could not fight hunger in Stark County without you.

Your hunger fighters,

Amy Weisbrod, Executive Director