AKRON, Ohio — Volunteers and the National Guard are packing boxes for this week's food distribution at the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank. For weeks they’ve seen more and more families in need.
"We typically will see about 400 families, we had over 1,700 families come the last time we did it. We’re going to do it on Thursday, and I’m expecting about 2,000 families,” said the CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, Dan Flowers.
Flowers says the community has really stepped in to fill the gap.
"We were able to cover our expenses with fundraising during the month of March, so far in April the community has been generous to support us,” said Flowers.
The need continues to go up and the state will be slowly reopening come May 1.
Will the donations keep coming? Or will folks re-start their lives and forget? Those are some of the questions food banks are asking.
"The support’s been strong, I hope that it stays with us because a lot of the people that are experiencing the most significant economic impact as a result of this closure and quarantine, it’s going to take them a long time to get it back together again,” said Flowers.
He says the overwhelming need for food now just shows how close some people have always been to becoming food insecure.
“Six months ago when there was lower than 3% unemployment, we were out making a case to this community that there are people that are experiencing food insecurity, that’s only exploded since then,” said Flowers. "Food insecurity and poverty are real phenomenons that have only been seriously aggravated by whats going on right now.”
Flowers is optimistic the donations will continue because he says, the need will be there.
"All we can do is hope that people will count to give and follow their hearts,” he said. "We’ll be faithful to our mission and I know people will be faithful to us.”
If you’re in need of food, or wondering what to give back to the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, click here.
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