Community Bible Church in Rootstown marked its 10th year of aiding in the hunger relief effort in Portage County on Oct. 28 with 250 people in attendance.

According to Mitch Lambert, Food Pantry coordinator for the rapidly growing program, the pantry projects a distribution exceeding 50,000 pounds of food and food items in 2018, having provided more than 100 tons of food in its 10-year history. The ministry currently reaches into 30 different zip codes in Northeastern Ohio, aiding both individuals and families.

The church works in cooperation with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Jessica Robb, MSW, Program Service Adviser at the Foodbank stated: "Nearly 14 percent of Portage County’s population struggles with food insecurity, about 22,500 individuals.

The food insecurity rate is even higher among children — 20 percent. In 2017, the Akron-Canton Foodbank distributed 1,432,129 pounds of food and essential items to Portage County families in need. Hunger-relief efforts are made possible through partnerships with organizations and churches like Community Bible Church in Rootstown."

Robb continued: "We are proud partners of the Community Bible Church’s food pantry, hot meal and backpack programs. We thank the church and all its volunteers who serve with generosity and compassion and congratulate them on 10 years of service to the community and are grateful for their commitment to keep a thriving community free of hunger."

In February, the church added a new level of service to those in need by providing a hot meal to anyone coming to the pantry, allowing them the opportunity to enjoy a meal and relax while their food order is filled by church volunteers.

Scott Hindel, Pastor of the church since 1998, stated that  50 to 75 volunteers of the church work in tandem to make the food pantry and hot meal program work smoothly for community members attending each food pantry day. The Community Bible Church opens its doors the last Sunday of the month to those in need.

The meal for the 10th anniversary program was provided through donations and/or discounts made available by Domino’s Pizza of Ravenna; Sirna & Sons of Ravenna and Giant Eagle of Rootstown.

The pantry will be open to those in need two more dates in 2018: Nov. 25 and Dec. 30 starting at 1 p.m. Community Bible Church can be reached at 330-325-9449 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Information about the church and its services to the community can be obtained at CBCRootstown.org.