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Health & Science

Regional Food Bank Kicks Off Campaign to Build New Facility in Canton

photo of Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank
AKRON-CANTON REGIONAL FOOD BANK
An artist's rendering of the food bank's new 40,000 square foot Canton facility, which will house a food pantry, teaching kitchen and community spaces. Construction is slated to begin this spring.

The Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank has announced an $11.5 million plan to expand operations in Akron and build a new facility in Canton.

The majority of the “Growing For Good” campaign will go towards a new building near downtown Canton, slated for construction this spring on the former site of a Fishers supermarket. In Akron, they’ll add refrigeration space and storage. CEO Dan Flowers says currently, they sometimes have to turn away donations of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Many times it’s because the cooler isn’t big enough [or] we don’t have enough dry storage space to say ‘yes’ to that load. We send food to outside storage and that costs us extra money. We’ve been renting a space next to the food bank in Akron for office space as we’ve grown. So it’s time for us to do this," Flowers said.

“As it is right now, charities drive in from Tuscarawas County and Carroll County and Holmes County. They fight traffic on the central interchange. It takes them an hour each way in many cases. This is going to be a way that we can serve them better.”

Flowers adds that they still need to raise about $3 million for the campaign. And next week, they’ll be starting the separate “Harvest For Hunger” annual campaign with a goal of $1.3 million.

The foodbank works with more than 500 food pantries, hot meal sites, shelters and other hunger-relief programs in Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. Last year, it helped provide 25.2 million meals.