JACKSON TWP. Shale Brewing Company on Whipple Ave NW was packed full on the Friday night before Thanksgiving. The local brewery is packed most Friday nights but this one was a little more packed than usual.
Shale Brewing teamed up with The Stansbury Show on iHeartMedia’s Rock 106.9 radio station to host an event called Mac & Cheese Feed, to benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. On Nov. 22, co-hosts Dan Stansbury and Matt Fantone invited their listeners and community members to stop by and donate boxes of mac and cheese or to make a monetary donation to help support the Foodbank’s annual Holiday Campaign.
Stansbury and Fantone broadcasted live and then was followed by music from Little Steve-O. In addition to collecting financial contributions for the Foodbank, The Stansbury Show hoped to build a mountain of macaroni and cheese with food donations from event attendees. Last year, because of the overwhelming support from the community, the mountain was nearly seven feet tall.
“We’re excited to partner with The Stansbury Show for a new event during our Holiday Campaign,” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. “The iHeartMedia stations and Dan and Matt are tremendous supporters of the Foodbank and our hunger-relief efforts. They’re always looking for new ways to educate their listeners on hunger within our community and continuously give back through their advocacy and volunteerism efforts.”
He added that boxes of mac and cheese are good food staples for the for the foodbank. He said kids love mac and cheese and it stores well on the shelves. Flowers said that the Foodbank had distributed 1,000 turkeys in Fairlawn and was getting ready to distribute turkeys in Canton before the Thanksgiving holiday.
This new event is an offshoot of the radio station’s longtime involvement with iHeartMedia’s annual Long Haul Against Hunger 13-hour radiothon. The Stansbury Show has historically broadcasted live at a local supermarket in Jackson Township, and listeners would drive by and drop off donations throughout the day. Hundreds of fans would arrive at the store in hopes of speaking to their favorite radio co-hosts and taking pictures with them.
The station has helped raise thousands of dollars for the Foodbank. In conjunction with iHeartMedia station 98.1 KDD, in 2018, the radiothon raised the equivalent of 468,000 meals for the Foodbank’s eight-county service area. The traditional Long Haul radiothon will take place again this year with KDD on Dec. 6 at Giant Eagle Market District at Portage Crossing in Cuyahoga Falls.
Owner of Shale Brewing, Jeff Joliat, got involved with the Foodbank when his daughter, who attends North Canton City Schools, came home one day to tell him about a student looking for a weekend backpack.
“My daughter came home from school one day and said she overheard another student in the guidance office ask about a weekend backpack which comes with food for kids who are in need of meals over the weekends,” Joliat said. “She said the office didn’t have any left. So that brought the food needs of our community to my attention and awareness.”
Joliat started his own commitment to helping those in need. In addition to hosting the Mac & Cheese event, he picks up food at the Foodbank on a regular basis and brings back to the Canton communities by working with The North Canton Cares Pantry at The Summit Church.
The Mac & Cheese Feed event is part of the Foodbank’s annual Holiday Campaign, in addition to the traditional Long Haul radiothon, the Selfless Elf 5k run and walk, hundreds of food and funds drives organized by individuals and organizations and many other third-party events. The Campaign urges people to come together to support individuals and families in the local community facing hunger.
To learn more about the Mac & Cheese Feed event, Long Haul Against Hunger radiothon or other ways to engage with the Foodbank’s Holiday Campaign, please visit akroncantonfoodbank.org/holiday or contact the Foodbank at 330-535-6900.