The Stark County Hunger Task Force fights hunger in our community by providing financial, logistic, strategic, and food support to our network of local emergency food pantries.
We believe our work does more than just provide free groceries to those in need: we ease anxiety, inspire hope, and promote wellness. By alleviating hunger in Stark County, we are building a stronger community.
Compassion: In any community, a number of individuals will experience a crisis during their lifetimes, in which they are unable to provide adequate food for themselves and their families. We strive to satisfy this basic need with a caring hand, treating everyone with dignity and respect.
Hope: When a visitor comes to us for a hand up, we meet them with a bag… a bag full of groceries, of course, but also with a small dash of hope that things will be better soon.
Generosity: It is only through the generosity of our friends and neighbors that we are able to provide free groceries to the food insecure in Stark County.
Zeal: Our passion and commitment to Stark County drive our mission. Through hard work and raised awareness, we will alleviate hunger in our community.
Since 1981, the Stark County Hunger Task Force has helped serve the hungry of our community. Our organization provides financial, logistical, strategic, and food assistance to a network of over 30 food pantries throughout Stark County. These resources assist our pantries in providing a three to five day supply of nutritious, free groceries to families struggling with food insecurity. In 2009, we opened the SCHTF emergency food pantry with the desire to see it act as a safety net to fill any gaps in our food assistance service. The SCHTF pantry is open five days a week thanks to our staff, contracted employees through Mature Services and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, and many dedicated volunteers who keep it running smoothly.
Over the last 36 years, the fight against hunger in Stark County has intensified as the need for our services continues to grow.
Consider these few facts:
Between 1981 and 2015, the number of residents seeking food assistance from the SCHTF has grown by nearly 900%.
- In 1981, SCHTF served 3,000 Stark County residents each month
- In 2016, SCHTF served nearly 29,000 Stark County residents a month
- From 2010 to 2016, the number of visitors to our network of pantries has increased by 87%:
2010: 15,000 people served monthly
2016: 29,000 people served monthly
As an unique non-profit organization and registered 501(c)3, almost all of our programs are funded through the generosity of community members – food and monetary donations, tireless work by our staff, and a network of volunteers as well as a dedicated board of directors. The Stark County Hunger Task Force is not a county agency, and therefore we do not receive county funding.
While SCHTF is grateful to receive a federal stipend through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, the amount we receive has decreased in recent years, and currently makes up a mere 8% of our operating budget. Since 2009, we have received an overall cut of 54 percent in federal assistance. That means we derive 92 percent of our budget from the support of our community – thank you!
Executive Assistant Director/Backpack Program
Stephanie Sweany is a Stark County native who currently resides in Canton. She graduated from Kent State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. Stephanie has spent her career working in early childhood education and in the non-profit sector. These past experiences drew her to the mission of fighting hunger that Stark County Hunger Task Force promotes and lives everyday. Stephanie is a downtown Canton enthusiast and is always a cheerleader for Northeast Ohio sports teams. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys being involved in various community groups including; The North Canton Jaycees, the Kent Alumni Association, ystark!, and Canton Food Tours.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The SCHTF Board of Directors is an all-volunteer “working board,” united to support the mission of alleviating hunger in Stark County and to guide the organization into the future.
From representing the organization at various local events, as well as at our own fundraisers to serving as executive officers, and chairs and/or members of committees, members of the SCHTF Board of Directors contribute their time and talents in many different capacities. Some have been with us for 13+ years, and others for 1-5 years, and come from a variety of different professional/personal backgrounds.
What they all have in common, regardless of those differences, is a commitment to making an impact on the struggling members of our community by providing a basic need — food.
Robert F. Fay, CPA,PFS,CGMA – President – Owner/CEO
Ashley Harwell – Vice President – Development Director, Canton Museum of Art
Dana Billheimer – Treasurer – Senior Internal Audit Manager V.P., PNC
Theresa Donato – Secretary – Ret-Exec Admin Assist
Steve Smith – Operations Manager
Rick Campbell – Stark County Recorder
Richard Desrosiers – Executive Editor, The Canton Repository
Robert Feielin – Vice President Industry Engineering Products & Services, Timken Steel Company
Drew Felberg – Director of Student Services, Stark State College
Brook Harless – Retired Army/Community Volunteer
Debbie Horn (emeritus)
Redda Latona – Retired Teacher – Plain Local Community Volunteer
Terry Regula – CEO, My Community Health Care
Joe Rozsa – Owner/Creative Director, Site 14
Mary Anne Schwartz – Community Volunteer
Marie Sumser – Sunset Advertising Agency
Lisa Vitale Arnold – Vitale Legal, LLC Attorney/Owner
Yvette Zingery – Partner-Interior Design Leader – Sol Harris/Day Architects