New FirstEnergy Foundation Volunteer Center Gives Foodbank Volunteers a Place to Shine

Harvest for Hunger 2024
Harvest for Hunger 2024

In 2023, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank distributed more than 35 million pounds of food with the help of 10,200 volunteers whose time, talents and passion helped feed thousands of local families in need. Dedicating more than 64,000 hours of service – 42,000 hours in Akron alone – these volunteers helped the Foodbank provide more than 1.6 million meals.

Now, volunteers can shine and work safely as they sort, inspect, relabel and repackage donated food items in the FirstEnergy Foundation Volunteer Center. Located at the Foodbank’s Akron Warehouse, the Volunteer Center was named in recognition of the FirstEnergy Foundation’s $750,000 donation to the Foodbank’s Growing for Good capital campaign.

Over the last decade, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank has been on a mission to expand its capacity to store and distribute food to increase health food access and provide hunger relief throughout the eight counties it serves. As the needs of these counties grow, the foodbank’s continued success depends on the generosity and compassion of individuals and companies throughout the community. 

A long-time supporter of the foodbank, FirstEnergy and the FirstEnergy Foundation have contributed nearly $450,000 from 2019 to 2023 to help fight hunger and help communities thrive. Over those five years, employees also helped raise approximately $2.1 million, the equivalent of nearly 15 million meals, through the company’s annual Harvest for Hunger campaign. 

In addition to these fundraising efforts, many employees have taken advantage of the company’s generous volunteer time off policy, donating thousands of hours to help feed local families in need. In 2023 alone, 255 FirstEnergy employee volunteers from a range of business units and groups like Young Professionals and FirstEnergy Connect provided 682 hours of service to the foodbank.

“FirstEnergy and its associates have long supported the foodbank in a variety of ways including a robust volunteer program,” said Katie Carver Reed, Vice President of the Akron Canton Regional Foodbank, at a ribbon-cutting event in early February. “It’s only fitting that we recognize their support with the FirstEnergy Foundation Volunteer Center.” 

On Wednesday, April 3, FirstEnergy President and CEO, Brian Tierney, hosted a day of community service to inaugurate the new FirstEnergy Foundation Volunteer Center and kick off the company’s 2024 Harvest for Hunger campaign. Working side by side, FirstEnergy executives and employees packed fresh produce, sorted household cleaning supplies and checked expiration dates of non-perishable items. Together, they secured over 2,000 meals, demonstrating their commitment to corporate stewardship and community service.

“I can’t think of a more basic or fundamental need,” said Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Hyun Park, who serves on the foodbank’s Board of Directors and volunteers there with his team multiple times a year. “At the end of the day, it’s about walking the talk. It’s about one human being helping another.”



Last Modified: April 24, 2024