The FeedOhio organization is taking donations through Sept. 7.
The statewide program, which is beginning this weekend, will be going on in many communities and neighborhoods throughout Ohio. Anything collected by local volunteers will go to the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank.
Jeannie Peugh, a FeedOhio representative who is coordinating the efforts to collect donations in the Cuyahoga Falls, Stow and Tallmadge areas, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tallmadge. Her church, along with other churches and companies in the area, have gotten together to take donations. The bulk of the church members reside in Tallmadge, Stow, and Cuyahoga Falls, she said, so donations will be primarily collected from these cities. Approximately 75 churches and companies have signed up for the collection so far, though Peugh is anticipating even more.
"On the evening of Sept. 4, we will be canvassing neighborhoods to collect donations for the food bank," said Peugh. "Youth and adults will go door to door in local neighborhoods with fliers showing people that this is from Feed Ohio."
Individuals as well as organizations are welcome to participate. For every dollar donated, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks can provide up to four nutritious meals.
Organizations may have donation containers at their companies for employees to donate rather than come out and go door to door. Peugh will make sure they get a container and will be going to the different companies on Sept. 7 to retrieve the collections.
Volunteers will be collecting food items, money, checks, and other personal items such as deodorant and razors.
"We will also have drop off locations for those who wish to drop off their donations," said Peugh. "I have met with the mayors of all three cities, all of which are very supportive of our cause. For safety purposes, they have picked out certain neighborhoods for our volunteers to go and collect." Contact Peugh at 330-630-2161 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out which neighborhoods are involved.
Individuals interested in volunteering to canvas neighborhoods or organizations interested in participating in the collection drive can contact Peugh. People can also give an online donation to the Ohio Food Bank at www.ohiofoodbanks.org/feedohio.
"So far our youths have been out to collect a few times and people have been very giving," said Peugh.
According to Michelle Hinton, director of external affairs at Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, the food bank does not have an ultimate goal for the donations.
"A lot of individual companies have set goals for themselves," said Hinton. "Based on their goals, I believe we could receive up to 1,000 pounds of food or $1,000 from each organization. I think the potential from this drive could be significant for our food bank."
"We look forward to working with volunteers throughout the state to make a difference for people struggling with hunger in our own backyards," Dr. D. Bradley Welling, representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ohio, said in a news release from the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.
"It is important to give back to our local area," said Hinton. "We are thrilled to have support from so many volunteers who help bring awareness to our issue of hunger."
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4163