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Akron Canton Foodbank Welcomes USDA Decision That Simplifies Distribution

photo of Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank
Food pantries across Ohio are shifting to a drive-thru model to protect clients and volunteers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a food distribution program to help expedite the process of feeding hungry families in Ohio.

Dan Flowers is the CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

He said that prior to this approval, volunteers needed to conduct an intake process which involved exchanging paperwork with clients.

That has the potential to spread coronavirus to volunteers, many of whom are seniors.

“We were excited when the USDA waived that requirement temporarily," Flowers said. "That gives us the ability to just pull cars through and just put the emergency food boxes in the trunk and move them down the line.”

Now volunteers only need to ask how many households the food is for and how many people are in the car.

The foodbank provides food to 500 soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food pantries across eight counties in Ohio.