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Akron-Canton Foodbank stretched to its limits during COVID-19 crisis: Here's how to help

To make a contribution by phone, you can call the Foodbank at 330-535-6900 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday. Contributions to be matched up to $100,000.

AKRON, Ohio — Local nonprofits are being stretched to their limits because of the coronavirus crisis, and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is no exception.

On Thursday April 9, wkyc studios is leading a one-day fundraiser for the Akron-based foodbank, which is struggling to meet a rising need for emergency food in the eight-county area it serves.

All day long on 3News on Thursday, viewers were encouraged to donate. To make a contribution by phone, you could call the Foodbank at (330) 535-6900 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Donations can also be made online at the Foodbank's website.

An assortment of anonymous friends of the Foodbank have offered a total of $100,000 in matching funds for donations made between Thursday and Sunday, April 12.

Which means that donations made by WKYC viewers on Thursday will have double the impact, up to $100,000. Every donated dollar will help provide enough food for eight meals, Foodbank spokesperson Raven Gayheart said.

“If we meet this match, 800,000 meals can be provided to the Foodbank’s eight-county service area.”

WKYC’s fundraising drive for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is supported by Barnett Management, which will donate $1,000 to the effort on Thursday.

In late March, the Foodbank gave away its largest food amounts ever during single-day distributions, and staffers are worried about running low on supplies.

“At the current rate of inventory and demand, we have enough to operate for approximately 12 days, which is one of our biggest concerns,” said Foodbank president and CEO Dan Flowers.

On Thursday alone, the foodbank raised $79,686, which ended up doubling to $159,372 with matching funds. Officials say that will help provide more than 600,000 meals.

Across Ohio, food banks are facing an unprecedented demand for emergency food, a result of the job and income losses caused by the statewide COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

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