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STARK COUNTY HUNGER TASK FORCE PANTRY

In 2009, the Stark County Hunger Task Force moved our offices from Cleveland Avenue to the Community Campus at Goodwill in Downtown Canton, located at 408 9th Street SW. With more space, as well as social service recipients in the building to receive other services, the Hunger Task Force decided to open its own emergency food pantry. With access to a campus full of social services, one can walk out of the building with prescriptions filled and groceries in hand, along with access to many other services while inside, such as counseling, a big brother or sister, tax services, and much more.

In 2013, with doors open 30 hours a week, the pantry served an average of 2,000 Stark County residents each month. By 2015 those numbers had risen to an average of 2,800 a month. The numbers are again on the rise, as federal assistance to families and individuals continues to decline. We now serve over 4,000 a month.

Hours:
Monday & Wednesday: 9:15am to 3:35pm
Tuesday: 9:15am to 2:35pm
Thursday & Friday: 9:15am to 1:35pm
We are closed on all major holidays, and when the Goodwill campus is closed.

The SCHTF Emergency Pantry operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. We have a set number of appointment times each day, which can be obtained upon entrance of the Community Campus Building.

Eligibility
1. Stark County residency
2. Possession of a valid photo ID*
3. Household income requirements (see below)

*If the address on your ID is not up-to-date, we ask that you bring supporting documentation of your current residence (ie, copy of a lease agreement or a utility bill), so we can ensure that our clients are actively living in Stark County.

When receiving assistance, clients sign what is called a TEFAP form. By doing so, they certify that they meet the following income requirements, which place them below 200% of the poverty level as defined by federal standards to receive food assistance:

Download a copy of the 2017-2018 TEFAP (English)
2017-2018 TEFAP: en Español

Becoming a Proxy:
If you are assisting a friend or family member with their groceries because they are disabled or housebound, please fill out this form prior to your visit. Bring it with you to be deemed their “proxy” and thus able to pick up groceries for them.

Link to download Letter of Proxy Form
Elegibilidad para Llevar Alimento a Casa Carta del Apoderado “Proxy”

PANTRY SUPPORT PROGRAM

The Stark County Hunger Task Force supports more than 30 food pantries across Stark County. Pantry locations include Massillon, Canal Fulton, Beach City, Jackson Township, Perry Township, Canton, North Canton, Plain Township, Louisville, Alliance, Canton South, Minerva, Waynesburg and East Sparta. Pantry visitors are met by friendly volunteers who verify client eligibility and help provide critical food assistance to over 29,000 Stark County residents each month.

For emergency food assistance, please call 2-1-1 for the pantry nearest you.

Alliance Community Pantry

215 East Market St.
Alliance, 44601

SCHTF Community Campus Pantry

Canal Fulton Community Cupboard

Canton Friendship Center

Community Drop In Center

Grace United Church of Christ

Believer's Assembly Church

Canton Calvary Mission

Faith Kitchen

Grace Fellowship

Helping Hands Network

Lake Township F.I.S.H.

Life Song Church

Louisville Community Cupboard

Minerva United Methodist Church

Life Hope Church

Minerva Community Outreach at St. Paul's Evan. Lutheran

Mount Zion Church

Rivertree Christian Church

North Canton Church of Christ

Salvation Army - Canton

Salvation Army - Minerva

Serving Hands Ministry

St. Barbara RC Church

Salvation Army - Massillion

Sherrick Road Church of God

St Joan of Arc

Urban Ark Ministries

TOSM (Truimph Over Satan) Ministries

Zion Lutheran Church

Tuslaw Food Pantry (Chapel of the Cross UMC)

BECOME A SCHTF PANTRY

The Stark County Hunger Task Force is a support organization committed to the alleviation of hunger in our communities. We offer a variety of services:

  • We work with a wide net of individuals, schools, businesses, and civic organizations to organize food drives. That food is then picked up by individual pantries and taken directly to their sites. Every effort is made to ensure that the pantries we work with receive a fair share of food from these collections.
  • We solicit funds from individuals, churches, businesses, and civic groups. Those funds are used to purchase food from the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank (ACRFB). Almost all of our pantries have a specific allowance per month from the Hunger Task Force to shop at the ACRFB. We must stretch every dollar donated to us, and be responsible stewards of the donations entrusted to us. Financial support is based on a calculation derived from your pantry’s total budget, and the amount of people you serve each month.
  • The Stark County Hunger Task Force vehicles are available for our pantries to borrow for their hunger fighting needs. This includes, but is not limited to, making trips to Akron for pick-ups from the Foodbank.
  • We work with our pantries to determine special needs, such as freezers, refrigerators, dollies, and shelving, as well as other products. When those needs are identified, we seek out grant money or use donations to meet them.

Both existing and newly-founded pantries can apply to become part of the Stark County Hunger Task Force network by filling out the form below, and by calling our office at 330-455-6667 or sending an inquiry to P.O. Box 20941, Canton, OH 44701.

In order to be accepted, pantries must:

  1. Have a food pantry which is ready to distribute, with a location and regular hours of operation determined. The site must be able to provide volunteers to order and pick up food, prepare bags for give-away, qualify applicants, and do minimal record-keeping. The Foodbank will also provide government guidelines the pantry must follow. In most cases, the pantry will also need some financial support beyond the Hunger Task Force.
  2. Have 501(c)3 non-profit determination, with documentation of that status from the IRS. Applications can be picked up from the post office, and usually require the assistance of an attorney to be completed.
  3. Be a member of the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank in good standing. Please call Katie Carver at 330-777-7577 for an application.
  4. New pantries must be in a geographic location not already covered by one of our existing member pantries, or have different operating hours not covered by existing member pantries within that geographic area.
  5. Pantry directors and/or staff will be asked to attend our monthly meetings, which are held on the first Thursday of every month at 9:30am in The Community Campus at Goodwill (408 9th. ST SW, Canton, OH, 44707).
  6. Submit monthly reports to the Stark County Hunger Task Force that include the latest monthly numbers, using your ACRFB member identification number on our required form.
  7. Complete a yearly survey in order to identify and evaluate your pantry’s needs.

Download link for New Member Application

If you have any questions concerning applications for new pantries, or regarding general information on becoming a Stark County Hunger Task Force pantry, please do not hesitate to contact Maureen Tate, our Executive Director. She can be reached via email at maureen@starkhunger.org, or by phone at 330-455-6667 ext. 2809.

Backpack4Kids_4c

Designed specifically to target childhood hunger, every month our Backpack for Kids Program supplies crucial weekend meals to over 2,200 school-aged children at seven local elementary schools in three Stark County school districts. Students at risk of weekend hunger receive a bag of food from which they can easily assemble four healthy, non-perishable, and kid-friendly meals to sustain them over the weekend. Students are identified by their participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), through which they receive free and reduced lunches during the school week (Monday through Friday).

For the hungry and food-insecure children of Stark County, the only meals they can count on often come from in-school initiatives. But if these children are in need Monday through Friday, what happens when they go home for the weekend without the safety net of school breakfasts and lunches? The sad truth is that these children have to worry about where their next meal will come from. They show up to school on Monday morning without having eaten enough, or very much at all. The Stark County Hunger Task Force thinks there’s something wrong with that picture, and we know you do as well.

That’s why we supports 9 Backpack Programs — seven right here in the Community Campus Pantry — and two more at network members Canton Calvary Mission and Sherrick Road Church of God, who also run summer meals though the Summer Feeding Service Program (SFSP) .

1 in every 4 Stark County children is hungry, or food-insecure, meaning their families often struggle to put enough food on the table. Some live in poverty, some do not, and  a hungry child looks just like any other. But the cost of childhood food insecurity is staggering, and the stakes have never been higher.

HOW DOES HUNGER IMPACT CHILDREN?*

  • Lack of enough healthy food can impair a child’s ability to concentrate and perform well in school.
  • They are more likely to be sick more often, to recover from illness more slowly, and to be hospitalized more frequently
  • Increases the chance they will have significantly higher levels of behavioral, emotional and academic problems, and issues with aggression and anxiety
  • They are more likely to experience headaches, stomachaches, colds, and ear infections; and they are less likely to be rated in “excellent” health vs. kids from non food-insecure homes.
  • Puts them at a higher risk for classroom difficulties, including less achievement gains in math and reading, increased inattentiveness, and even repeating a grade.

In 2012, 31.5% of Stark County residents lived below 200% of the poverty level — it shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that during the 2013-2014 school year, 46% of students enrolled in Stark County schools – public, private, and charter – received free or reduced lunches through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). But within the schools served by our Backpack for Kids programs, the need is even higher. A whopping 82% of all the children who attend school at the five elementary schools served by our program receive free or reduced lunch.*

Gibbs Elementary (Canton City Schools):  99.61%*
Allen Elementary (Canton City Schools): 96.39%*
Cedar Elementary (Canton City Schools): 89.32%*
Franklin Elementary (Massillon City Schools): 81.34%*
Taft Elementary (Plain Local Schools): 57.02%*

What about the weekend? If these children are in need Monday through Friday, is there a need for Saturday and Sunday?

Of course there is a need for weekend meals – that is why we focus on these times, when the children are not receiving their free and reduced lunches. Our Backpack for Kids Program places security in these children’s hands through “backpacks” full of meals. We supply two nutritious breakfasts, two lunches, and two snacks, which are distributed by the school on Fridays. Each month, SCHTF serves packs to 2,200 children, making their weekend healthier and even a little brighter.

The Backpack for Kids Program not only helps these Stark County children come back to school on Monday better prepared to learn and concentrate — it means they can focus on being a kid on the weekend, instead of wondering if and when they will be able eat. But we need your help to serve them.

You can help us make the lives of food-insecure children at 5 Stark County schools healthier and brighter, and you can do it easily. It only costs $10.00 to sponsor 1 child for 1 month! You can choose the number of children you wish to support as well as the duration, and can also choose to sponsor a school for one week ($250).

You can make a difference by supporting the Backpack for Kids Program and sponsoring a child

If you or your company would like to sponsor the Backpack for Kids Program, please contact Maureen Tate at 330-455-6667 ext. 2809, or by email via maureen@starkhunger.org.

*Facts represent research from a variety of sources, all compiled and accessed through NoKidHungry