July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

One day, 15,000 pounds of food

MEDINA — Every month Feeding Medina County gets a call from the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank detailing how much, and what kinds, of food it will receive the next morning for its free distribution.

Early the next morning, 50 to 70 volunteers rush to set up the nearly 15,000 pounds of food that will supplement the meals for impoverished families through the holiday season.

Sandy Calvert, left, and Cheryl Mason hand out boxes of granola bars Thursday during Feeding Medina County’s free food distribution at the Community Center in Medina. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY ANDREW DAVIS)

By 7:45 a.m., the line to receive food already is out the door.

“Most of the people we help are on fixed incomes and their money doesn’t take them through the end of the month,” said Cheryl Mason, eligibility administrator for Medina County Job and Family Services.

Mason said that having the distribution on the third Thursday of the month helps pick up families who have fallen on hard times.

In November, Feeding Medina County served 260 families; this month it served 235 families.

“Our numbers stay pretty steady,” Mason said. “Most of our families are elderly.”

Besides distributing 15,000 pounds in one day, the nonprofit provides 30,000 pounds of food assistance through programs such as “Weekenders for Children” and “Staples for Seniors.”

“Weekenders for Children” provides children in 12 schools across the county with a grocery bag of food every week so they do not come to school hungry.

“The only source of food some kids get is coming back to school on Monday,” said Sandy Calvert, executive director of Feeding Medina County. “We want to make sure they come into school eager for learning and not food.”

“Staples for Seniors” helps elderly people living in subsidized housing stay healthy by providing them with 20 pounds of food each month.

To qualify for the free food distribution, a family of four must make less than $47,099 a year and show a valid ID.

The distribution is conducted the third Thursday of each month except March, May and September, when it is held on the fourth Thursday at the Community Center.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.