The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank's Volunteer Center was filled with the energy of more than 300 community members as the 26th annual Harvest for Hunger campaign kicked off during a soldout breakfast March 1.

Harvest for Hunger is the foodbank's largest fundraising initiative and is a collaborative effort of four Ohio food banks serving 21 counties in Northeast Ohio, including the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Mahoning Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.

The local 2017 Harvest for Hunger goal is set at $1.25 million and 100,000 pounds of food, and is being led by two leaders from the media industry -- Mark Cohen, publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal, and Jim Porter, publisher of GateHouse Ohio Media.

One hundred percent of all Harvest for Hunger donations will go directly toward feeding hungry men, women and children in area communities.

The two major components of the Harvest for Hunger campaign are food and funds drives and Check Out Hunger.

Nearly 300 businesses, schools, community organizations and families are holding food and funds drives throughout the months of March and April. To register a food and funds drive, download a coordinator's kit from the foodbank's website --

Area retailers, including Buehler's Fresh Foods, Dave's Supermarkets, Fisher Foods, Giant Eagle, Ace Hardware and Heinen's Fine Foods participate in Check Out Hunger, which allows shoppers to scan coupons and make donations of $1, $5 or $10 at the checkout.

If you have questions or want to get involved locally in Harvest forHunger, visit