Local family fund donation enables area's first mobile food pantry

Kent Weeklies
A donation of $35,000 to The Emergency Assistance Center has allowed it to buy and operate a mobile food pantry van serving seniors and veterans in Boston Heights, Hudson, Macedonia, Northfield, Peninsula, Reminderville, Richfield, Sagamore Hills and Twinsburg.

As hunger continues to be a challenge for many area families, Northern Summit County has its first mobile food pantry, thanks to a local couple who established a Donor Advised Fund at the Hudson Community Foundation (HCF).

The Dufour Family Charitable Fund, created at HCF by George and Nancy Dufour, has contributed $35,000 to The Emergency Assistance Center to buy and operate a mobile food pantry van serving seniors and veterans in Boston Heights, Hudson, Macedonia, Northfield, Peninsula, Reminderville, Richfield, Sagamore Hills and Twinsburg. In December 2020 alone, the Northfield-based Center served 884 people in 296 households, including 190 seniors and 332 children.

“I have wanted a van for The Emergency Assistance Center food pantry for seven years,” said executive director Joyce Hunt. “This was our Christmas miracle, which came through the generosity of the Dufours – a true answer to prayer.”

With the new van in place, the center is able to expand its service to deliver food directly to more local families, reach out to additional veterans and pick up large orders from the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank which previously were transported in multiple volunteers’ personal cars.

“We just got this passion, seeing what they wanted to do and how they were going to be helping seniors and veterans and people that really didn’t have access to get food as easily as others,” George Dufour said. “Nobody should be without food if they can’t get access into the center.”

“This gift through the Hudson Community Foundation is an example of a local family so generously supporting a compelling local need,” said HCF president Amy Jordan. “Nearly 100 Donor Advised Funds now in place help donors in our community support worthwhile causes anywhere they choose across America. But it is especially gratifying when a local charity is serving our neighbors close to home. That is the case with this gift by the Dufours.”

Founded in 2000, Hudson Community Foundation’s mission is to enhance the overall quality of life in the Hudson area by increasing charitable giving, educating and connecting donors to community needs and leading on community issues. Supported by hundreds of local donors and Donor Advised Funds, HCF ended 2020 with assets of nearly $25 million. The foundation operates from an office in the historic Baldwin House on Hudson’s village green and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.