More than 40 volunteers from rolled up their sleeves to help seven area pantries during Stark County Hunger Task Force Spring to Action service day on April 7.

"Volunteer crews completed scrubbing, cleaning, painting and organizing projects to assist participating network pantries to be able to more conveniently and efficiently be able to distribute food our neighbors who are struggling," said Stark County Hunger Task Force interim Exectutive Director Ralph Norton in a news release.

Crews from Aultcare, Omni Orthopaedics, Ameridial Inc., Cintas Corp. and Staybridge Suites Canton were disbursed to facilities including LifeHope Community Church in Jackson Township, Canton Calvary Mission, Lake Township F.I.S.H., Canton Salvation Army, Mt. Zion Community Church, Grace United Church of Christ in Lake Township and the Hunger Task Force emergency pantry.

 The service day is the first of a number of events from April through June 30 to raise funds and awareness for the cause of alleviating local hunger in Stark County through the annual Hunger at Home Campaign.

"The efforts of the volunteer teams enabled these food pantries that serve our community to complete tasks and projects, for which they don’t normally have enough manpower. It makes a tangible on-the-ground difference towards providing food for our neighbors struggling with food insecurity," Norton said in a news release.

Spring to Action is sponsored by Thrivent Financial with support from other businesses donating food for the volunteers.

"The Hunger at Home Campaign goal is to raise $125,000, which will allow us to meet our year-end budget and continue to feed more than 29,000 Stark County residents each month," said Norton.

The campaign continues into the spring and early summer with many opportunities to get involved and help feed the 57,000 individuals in the area who struggle to make ends meet and place food on the table.

Coming events include:

Through April 30: Coin Drive Collections coin boxes out to Stark County schools.

May 13: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive: Place non-perishable donations out the mailbox, and the letter carriers will make sure your donations directly impact the hungry in Stark County with the SCHTF.

May 5 and 6: CCAG’s Empty Bowls for Hungerprogramat the Canton Museum of Art. All ceramic bowl purchases at the Bowls for Hunger Sale go directly to the Stark County Hunger Task Force.

June: Plant Something Greencampaign to fight local hunger. Plant a row or a plant and dedicate its fruits to feed the hungry.

June 10: Fairways to Fight Hunger golf outing; sponsorships available (

Founded in 1981, Stark County Hunger Task Force, 408 9th St. SW, Canton, leads the battle against hunger in Stark County. Operating almost entirely on donations, SCHTF provides free groceries to an average of more than 29,000 individuals every month through over 30 food pantries, "Backpacks for Kids" programs and an emergency pantry. For more information, call 330.455.6667 or visit SCHTF online at