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Northeast Ohio food banks work to overcome rising food costs for the holidays

an image of the Akron Canton Regional Foodbank
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The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is serving more people that it has before. Food banks in the state are becoming an essential source of food for many people as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Northeast Ohio food banks are preparing for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season.

Rates of food insecurity are still high in the region, even with more people getting back to work as the COVID-19 pandemic goes on.

Food banks quickly became a crucial resource for even more people during the pandemic.

Now, almost two years after the onset of the pandemic, Raven Gayheart with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank says the food bank is still serving more people than before.

“It is promising to see food insecurity numbers within our eight county service area trend downward," said Gayheart. "But though those projections have declined slightly, food insecurity is expected to remain elevated in 2021.”

Karen Pozna with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank worries supply chain issues driving up food costs will lead to more people facing food insecurity.

“There is still a need there, and like I said it’s hard to anticipate with the rising food costs how that will affect families,” she said.

Pozna also said her food bank purchased 21,000 turkeys this year for Thanksgiving, and the turkeys cost a lot more than they usually do.

Ponza on rising food costs

“The cost of turkeys is up 25%, which is pretty significant," she said. "Fortunately, we have a very generous community, and we rely on their support to help us get through the holiday season and throughout the year.”

Both food banks say they are able to overcome the challenge of rising food costs thanks to community support.

Greater Cleveland Food Bank: 216-738-2067 help center with staff to help with finding nearest pantry, eligibility for benefits, etc. or website www.greaterclevelandfoodbank.org. Taking donations online.

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank: food distributions at main campus in Akron 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 9 and from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 21, drive thru style. Stark County campus in Canton food pantry from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday. Call 330-535-6900 for help or visti http://www.growing4good.org/. People also can host virtual food drives at akroncantonfoodbank.org or create a Facebook fundraiser. Selfless Elf 5k is set for Dec. 18.

Abigail Bottar is a junior at Kent State University. She is pursuing a major in political science with a concentration in American politics and minors in history and women's studies. Additionally, Abigail is starting her second semester copy editing for The Burr.