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Constellation Donates 500 Hall Admission Tickets to Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

Constellation Donates 500 Hall Admission Tickets to Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

11/04/2020
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Five hundred football fans with a connection to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank will tour the Pro Football Hall of Fame with no admission charge thanks to the generosity of Constellation, the official energy provider for the Hall of Fame.

Constellation, an Exelon company and a leading competitive energy provider, recently donated to the Foodbank this year’s allotment of 500 admission tickets. The company receives the tickets annually as part of its sponsorship agreement with the Hall.

Staff at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank distributed the tickets to the first 100 cars to drive through a recent on-site food distribution at the facility in Akron. They also gave tickets to each member of the Ohio National Guard assisting at the distribution as a thank you for their service.

“I’ve been a Canton resident all of my life, and I’ve never visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thanks so much for the tickets!” U.S. Airman Keith Zachary wrote in a thank you note to the Foodbank and Constellation.

“Volunteers and frontline workers are the glue that holds our communities together, especially during these challenging times,” said Mark Huston, President of Constellation’s National Retail Business. “We’re grateful to be able to team with the Hall of Fame to offer this experience to those individuals and other deserving local families.”

The Foodbank has relied heavily on National Guard personnel to help its staff meet the tremendous demand for food handling — collection and distribution — in 2020. Of the families visiting pantries within the Foodbank’s network this year, approximately 31% are new, meaning they never had needed to ask for help until feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, said 42 members of the Ohio National Guard have been working in the Foodbank’s warehouse, making deliveries and serving alongside agencies in the field since late March.

“These young men and women have been, without question, the greatest gift of support we have received,” Flowers said. “Early on in the pandemic, we closed for volunteers. It was just our staff and ONG here packing thousands of food boxes into the evenings and on the weekends, making deliveries and working food giveaways. These soldiers came ready to work, jumping in on any and every task to assist us.”

David Baker, President & CEO of the Hall of Fame, said seeing so many tickets end up in the hands of Ohio National Guard personnel is “a great way to say, ‘Thank you for your service.’ And as we get closer to the Thanksgiving holiday, we also can give thanks to Constellation for paying it forward with their donation and give thanks to the Foodbank for all the wonderful work they do every day.”

At a drive-thru food distribution last month, the Foodbank served more than 980 families — or about 2,800 individuals. Those numbers illustrate what the national organization Feeding America is seeing across the Foodbank’s eight-county service area: a roughly 20% increase in the demand for food as families struggle to rebound from the pandemic.

Feeding America projects a 43% increase in the number of children facing “food insecurity” in the service area that includes Stark (home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame), Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. That translates into 1 in 4 children struggling with hunger.

“These may have been the worst of times on many levels, but I believe this has also been the best of times in terms of the heroic response of our network, donors and the community that support us,” Flowers said, while extending his thanks to Constellation for recognizing those efforts with its gift of tickets.

Constellation is a sponsor of Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls. That deal includes naming rights for the Constellation Center for EXCELLENCE, a key component of the multimillion-dollar project. Ground was broken on the center about six weeks ago as part of Phase 2 of the development.

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