Construction of a 40,000 sq. ft. “food campus” consisting of a small-scale food market or free food distribution point, plus a community kitchen, meeting rooms for local nonprofits and an area to host farmers markets. The Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank has successfully operated another facility in the area which has been at capacity for two (2) years. Prior to this expansion, the Food Bank provided almost 2 million pounds of fresh produce to county residents in the most recent year.
The project is located in a USDA Food Desert with a poverty rate of 41.8% and an unemployment rate of 16.4%. Stark County economic development partners view the increased access to healthy food as a critical component to the area’s growth, development and revitalization.
Mayor Thomas Bernabei, City of Canton, and Ohio State Representative Thomas West have lent their endorsement to the project. The facility will be a food distribution hub for partner agencies, contributing to a dramatic increase in the availability of fresh, healthy food in the area.