(WHBC) – 20 school buses packed with food donations lined up in Canton on Monday before heading north to deliver the donations that students, staff and teachers collected throughout April.

Details are in the following news release from the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

Today 20 school buses caravanned up Interstate 77 to deliver food donations collected for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s Harvest for Hunger Campaign. Stark County public schools and member districts of the Stark County Educational Service Center (ESC), including schools from Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties, came together for the third year for the ‘Hunger: The Bus Stops Here’ campaign.

“This collaboration is unique because so many school districts come together across county lines to support a unified cause, feeding people and fighting hunger,” said Dan Flowers, Foodbank president and CEO. “In addition to food and financial donations, some districts send student representatives to help unload their donations. It’s inspiring to see young people so invested in supporting their community, and we’re so grateful for this partnership with the Stark County ESC.”

Through the month of April, participating elementary, middle and high schools in 20 districts collected nonperishable food items and financial donations from students, teachers and local residents in hopes of stuffing at least one of their district’s school buses full of donations.

Collectively, nearly 29,000 pounds of food was donated to the Foodbank through the campaign. Coupled with financial contributions, the schools’ efforts will help the Foodbank provide more than 41,000 meals to the local community in partnership with its hunger-relief network.

“I am thrilled with the support of the Foodbank by all of the Stark County ESC member school districts,” said Stark ESC Superintendent, Joe Chaddock. “A lot of the food donations will wind up going right back to our kids. It is just another great thing that schools are doing to help their communities.”

The largest demographic of individuals impacted by hunger are children under the age of 18. In the Foodbank’s eight-county service area, more than 20 percent of children are considered to be food insecure.

Volunteers from Synchrony were onsite to help unload the donations quickly. Help was also offered by students from participating districts at Dalton Local Schools and Lake Center Christian School.

The Harvest for Hunger Campaign is your Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s largest fundraising campaign and helps support food distribution all year long. Support from the community is imperative to ensure families struggling with hunger have a place to turn during their time of need.

This year’s Campaign goal is to provide $1.32 million and 100,000 pounds of food, the equivalent of more than 5.3 million meals. Nearing the end of the Campaign, the Foodbank needs the community’s support to help finish strong. Beginning April 29 through May 5, thanks to the generosity of Shearer’s Snacks and a few anonymous friends of the Foodbank, all donations will be matched up to $79,000. For more information or to donate to the Campaign, visit akroncantonfoodbank.org/matchweek.