Drive-thru food distribution event provides more than 6,000 pounds of food in two hours

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Boxes of food donated to the Kent State Food Pantry on Feb. 5, 2021.

Anthony Elder reporter

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and The Campus Kitchen partnered to host a drive-thru food distribution event last week at Dix Stadium. The event distributed over 6,000 pounds of food in two hours.

Akron-Canton Foodbank provided all of the food including boxes of shelf-stable food and boxes of fresh proteins. The Campus Kitchen organized and hosted the event.

The drive thru-event began in December and will happen once a month until June. The events served over 100 households each so far.

Volunteers run the events, similar to the regular Campus Kitchen pantries, and food is placed in people’s trunks in order to remain socially distant.

“Our volunteers consisted of staff from (Kent) University College and they said it was very impactful,” said Director of Community Engaged Learning, Amanda Woodyard.

Adam Cinderich, director for Student Support Services, volunteered for the event and said he felt a positive impact being able to help people.

“It feels great to give back to the community,” Cinderich said. “One of the things I love about Kent State is it’s the campus and the community all as one.”

Cinderich said he plans to volunteer more in the future and believes the event offers people relief during a time that might be stressful for them.

“It’s hard enough for a lot of people in normal times,” Cinderich said. “And then you have this added layer of a pandemic on top of it.”

To provide extra help after the regular event hours, Cinderich and colleagues delivered boxes of food to several students within the Student Support Services programs that were unable to drive to the event.

Anyone is welcome to receive food from the drive-thru events and updates are often provided through the Campus Kitchen Twitter account. 

People looking to volunteer can sign up for shifts in advance through a link provided on the Campus Kitchen website. 

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank allowed Campus Kitchen to keep the leftover food for their regular weekly food pantries—now available three times a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

“We can’t thank the Akron-Canton Foodbank enough for their partnership in this,” Cinderich said. “The fact that they just load up their truck in Akron and drive to our campus 20-minutes away and have this available to the community is fantastic.”

Anthony Elder covers crisis, recovery, hunger and help. Contact him at [email protected]