As the number of individuals and households seeking food assistance continues to rise, the importance of the local, charitable response is more critical than ever. But in order to adequately meet the demand food assistance, and those of our growing food pantry network, we need your help.
In 2014, the Stark County Hunger Task Force (SCHTF) pantry network provided critical and compassionate food assistance to over 27,300 individuals each month, and during 2016, that number increased to over 29,000 hungry men, women, and children every month. The number of Stark County’s hungry continues to rise; in fact, over the past four years alone, we have seen an 80% increase in clientele at our network pantries, and the number of Stark County’s food-insecure population has similarly increased despite an improved unemployment rate — between 2012 and 2013, it grew by several thousand people.
For those in this community who are hungry and unsure of what to do, SCHTF’s pantry network is a lifeline in their time of crisis. Whether that crisis is temporary or extended, they turn to our food pantries and programs for a basic need that is deceptively simple: a free, 3-5 day food supply to help carry them through.
HUNGER LIVES HERE. — hunger means hard choices and catch twenty-twos; choosing between food and other basic needs like utilities, housing, and medical care, not to mention some things such as transportation and an education. For those whose lives don’t depend on routinely performing such a financial juggling act, it can be difficult to imagine those choices.
- Food insecurity limits the lives and choices of 15.9% of people in Stark County — some 59,000 men, women, and children — on a regular basis.
- Despite a decreased unemployment rate, the number of hungry Stark County residents actually rose by several thousand people from 2012-2013.
- 46% of Stark County’s food-insecure are not eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), and only a small fraction of those individuals are eligible for other nutrition programs.
Pantry directors & representatives at a network “All-Ears” meeting
“I’ve been out of food for two days and it helps so much that I know there is a place I can go so I won’t go hungry. Thank you!”
– Jennifer, age 22
“Had it not been for the Stark County Hunger Task Force, I would have starved on the streets. Thank you very much for all the help for me and my family.” -Stacy, age 34
“I’ve been here a few times and very grateful for the whole experience. I am able to receive help for food for my family and [am] treated respectfully in the process.” -Don, a