NORTH CANTON Meals on Wheels of Stark and Wayne Counties usually holds an auction for its annual fundraiser. This year, board members, event committees and community leaders came together to brainstorm ideas to change the main fundraiser.
They came up with an idea to bring together food trucks for the community to visit. That idea became a reality last Thursday evening with the Put Hunger in the Park Food Fest fundraiser. It was held in the Hoover Park in North Canton.
"We wanted to do something really different and the food trucks are popular right now and the theme of delivering hot food fits with our mission," said Melissa Coultas, marketing manager."The food trucks are donating 5 percent of their proceeds to Meals on Wheels, plus we are selling sample plates of the food we serve our clients inside the hall. And, most of the beer and wine proceeds go to Meals on Wheels."
The idea for the new fundraiser was working as more and more people pulled into the park and made their way to the five food, two dessert and two beer and wine trucks. There was a live DJ from Q92, a photo booth, The Hitmen played live in the hall, inflatables, a rock wall and there were plenty of raffles. Games included cornhole and bocce ball tournaments, a putting contest and a hula-hoop contest.
There was also a truck collecting donations of pet food that will be delivered to the pets of individuals who receive hot meals from Meals on Wheels.
"This is also a good way for us to get more visibility in the community. We have volunteers here talking to people about what we do and asking them to volunteer. We are always looking for people to volunteer to deliver the hot meals to the more than 1,400 people we serve daily," Coultas said.
There more than 60 volunteers at the event included drivers, staff, friends and family of staff and others. The food trucks came from all over the area and served a variety of foods including lobster rolls, lamb meatball gyros, New Orleans foods, pulled pork wraps and much more.
Coultas said they were impressed with the turnout of the event and feels that they met their fundraising goal of $75,000.
For more information about receiving hot meals or to volunteer, call Coultas at 330-832-7220.