AKRON, Ohio — "Every bit of food they get, it goes directly to people in need,” said Betty Fulton who helps run Faith Kitchen. "It started with just a hot meal.
But Faith Kitchen has evolved into so much more.
Fulton and her husband help run the program out of Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton.
Faith Kitchen does it all, prepare hot meals, do giveaways, and even run a food pantry.
More people are relying on them for food during the pandemic.
"We used to see pretty much the same clients all the time and now the clients have changed so much, we have different people that we’ve never seen before,” said Fulton.
The folks at Faith Kitchen rely heavily on the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank for help as do about 500 local hunger relief programs.
“The number of people in our foodbank service area that are experiencing food insecurity has increased from 190,000 to 270,000. That's an increase of 80,000 people this year alone. It’s quite drastic,” said Dan Flowers, the food bank’s CEO.
Flowers believes the need will continue to climb.
"When people that live close to the line, lose a benefit that they relied on, that's going to have a drastic impact on their life. I am absolutely certain that the reductions in unemployment compensation are going to drive more people into food pantries,” he said.
"Without the Akron Canton Foodbanks we would not be able to do this ministry,” said Fulton. When you see the look on the faces of people who have never had to come and go through a food line and how grateful they are. It’s just a real blessing to be able to do that for them.”