Ryan Maxin | The Repository
CANTON – More than a dozen busloads of food donations were unloaded Monday at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank's Stark County campus as part of its "Hunger: The Bus Stops Here" effort. The fundraiser, which has run for the past five years, is part of the food bank's larger Harvest for Hunger initiative. It solicits donations from students, staff and residents of 17 school districts throughout Stark, Carroll, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties with the help of the Stark County Educational Service Center and several volunteers from the area.
This year's fundraiser included donations from people in the Alliance, Canton, Green, Jackson, Massillon, North Canton, Plain and Sandy Valley school districts. Surgere, other businesses giving back
One of the first buses to unload Monday came from the Marlington Local School District. Debie Weisel, a bus driver for the district, delivered a load of donations with each seat tightly packed with canned goods and other nonperishable food items. Weisel said the large number of donations is characteristic of the community's generosity.
"There are kids on my bus that actually could probably use the food from the food bank, and they're giving food to the food bank (instead)," Weisel said.
When Weisel's bus arrived, several volunteers from local businesses swarmed to help unload. The volunteers worked to fill large boxes, which were then taken into the food bank's warehouse to be stored and, eventually, turned into meals.
Employees from Surgere, a supply chain management company located in Green, made up a large portion of the volunteers. Steve Smolinski, one of the volunteers from Surgere, said he chose to work the fundraiser because he and his coworkers had a positive experience at the event the year before. The company offers paid time off for employees who get involved with volunteer opportunities.