WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown today commended the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank on being named “2012 Member of the Year” by the Feeding America network of foodbanks. More than 200 foodbanks are members of the Feeding America network, and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank received the honor today at the group’s summit in Detroit.
“Too many Ohio families don’t know from where their next meal will come,” Brown said. “That’s why the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s work is so important. They don’t just provide healthy meals to Ohioans in need – they also provide a sense of community and essential services like job training and utility assistance to Ohio families going through difficult times. It’s fitting that Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank was named “Member of the Year” at the 2012 Feeding America Network Summit.”
“The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is fixed on its mission to Feed People and Fight Hunger. We are committed to seeking the most efficient and effective means to those ends,” said Dan Flowers, President and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. “This honor belongs to this entire community, our member agencies, board of directors, staff members and our struggling neighbors. We will continue striving to serve more people and to serve them better. People in need deserve our very best. Our work has just begun.”
According to Feeding America, judges selected the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank because of its exceptional work over the past year. Among the food bank’s accomplishments:
- Raising nearly $3.8 million dollars in donations, representing a 100 percent increase in two years
- Increasing distribution to 19.4 million pounds of food and targeted its outreach in priority counties
- Cultivating new donors and key balanced fundraising strategies
- Creating a new Feeding Kids Initiative that created tools that engage and educate the public, like the Hungry Kate video.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly one in seven Ohio families lack “food security” – the “assured access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” Brown, who visited the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank in November 2010, has been a leader in the Senate on issues relating to hunger and nutrition, and serves as a member of the bipartisan Senate Hunger Caucus. While previously serving as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition, and Family Farms, Brown helped craft the anti-hunger centerpiece of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, and continues to fight for our nation’s foodbanks.