This year's annual Challenge Hunger! food drive in Kent includes a friendly challenge between the mayors of Kent and Ravenna to see which community can donate the most nonperishable food to assist two meals programs and emergency food pantries.
This Saturday April 6 Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala is encouraging Kent community members to drop off nonperishable food to fill the large yellow truck at Kent Social Services on Saturday. Fiala has issued a challenge to Ravenna Mayor Joe Bica to raise as much money and food for the Center of Hope in Ravenna as Fiala hopes to see raised for Kent Social Services.
Donations will be accepted and an open house will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Kent Social Services, 1066 S. Water St. The public is invited to stop by and tour the KSS facility and learn about the agency's services. Donors will be offered a fresh slice of pizza at no cost through the generosity of Dominoes Pizza.
Monetary and food donations collected during March and April will be counted toward a challenge grant offered by Alan Shawn Feinstein, a national philanthropist who will distribute a portion of his one million dollars to anti-hunger programs throughout the country. Kent State University students from the College of Public Health are supporting this effort and are collecting food in the city's neighborhoods to donate toward the challenge.
The number of local residents needing supplemental food has increased substantially over the past two years. During 2012, KSS provided 10,650 bags of groceries and 23,050 hot meals. Currently, KSS serves more than 2,500 vulnerable Kent residents. For more information about Kent Social Services, call 33-673-6963.