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As National Guard members begin to leave, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank seeks volunteers

Akron Canton Regional Foodbank volunteer
Posted at 10:43 AM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 19:06:07-04

AKRON, Ohio — The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is in need of community members to volunteer at its grocery distributions as members of the Ohio National Guard begin to return to their civilian lives

In order to help local families through the pandemic as they battled lost and decreased wages, the foodbank increased the frequency of its Neighborhood Distribution program, serving between 700 and 1,000 families.

On Sept. 30, more than a dozen members of the Ohio National Guard completed their six-month service term and are transitioning back to everyday life. The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank said that all members will be gone by the end of the year, so volunteers are very much needed.

“With the help of the Guard, we’ve been able to fine-tune and streamline our Neighborhood Distribution process so that it’s quick and easy to set up, enjoyable for staff and volunteers, and reduces the wait time for guests needing groceries. They’ve become integral members of our emergency response efforts and our Foodbank family and we couldn’t be more grateful for their service,” Foodbank President and CEO Dan Flowers said in a press release. “But these distributions require the help of many, that’s why we’re seeking help from the community as our friends from the Guard begin to return to their regular jobs.”

The Neighborhood Distribution program is a drive-thru style distribution in which families remain in their vehicles while staff and volunteers load their trunks with boxes of produce, dairy, frozen meat and non-perishables.

Volunteers also assist by greeting and registering guests and assisting with traffic control as the drive-thru line grows and moves.

Those interested in volunteering can email or call 330-535-6900.

Volunteers should be able to lift around 30 pounds and be comfortable working in inclement weather. The days and hours needed are as follows:

  • Oct. 22: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 3: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 22: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.