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 30 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 2013, the number of residents seeking food assistance from the SCHTF has grown by 900%.
- In 1981, SCHTF served 3,000 Stark County residents each month
- In 2013, SCHTF served 27,000 Stark County residents a month
- In the last three years, the number of visitors to our network of pantries has increased by 60%:
2010: 15,000 people served monthly
2011: 22,000 people served monthly
2012: 25,000 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 the SCHTF is grateful to receive a federal stipend through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), the amount we recieve has decreased in recent years, which is also mirrored in the the 54% overall federal assistance decrease SCHTF has seen since 2009. Currently, the EFSP grant makes up a mere 8% of our operating budget.
It does mean that we derive we derive 92 percent of our budget from the support of our community – thank you!