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Akron area Salvation Army assistance programs.

The Salvation Army of Summit County can provide families facing a crisis and the low income with a number of emergency assistance programs. Services offered range from utility bill and rent assistance, food, holiday aid, homeless prevention, a low cost Family Store and much more. While most of the aid is focused on the residents of Akron Ohio, the Salvation Army Corp centers do cover all of Summit County.

Salvation Army free food and meal programs

The Food Choice Pantry is located at the Maple Street Facility, which is at 190 S. Maple Street, Akron, Ohio. The center provides meals, groceries and food boxes on an emergency basis to those who need help. For more extensive social services or case management, appointments can be made on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon. If you do decide to make an appointment, you will need to call Info Line, which is a Summit county wide informational service that is offered free of charge to individuals across the county.

This pantry will only allow people to pick up food at most once per month, so the number of times anyone can use this facility is limited. Every person will be able to select their own food items, so this is a similar concept as to shopping at a supermarket. To learn more about this food assistance program, or to make an appointment, dial 330.376.4850.

The Salvation Army has partnered with the Akron Canton Food Bank to provide direct distribution of food to the needy and poor in the community. All sorts of free groceries and meals are offered, and the assistance offered is temporary. Or families can find a list of other food pantries in Summit County.

In order to participate in this distribution event, clients will need to bring their own bags on the second Wednesday of each month. Qualified individuals will receive about a two day supply of food. This regional Food Bank provides the items free of charge to those who need help.





Food is also offered to children and students from the Back Pack Program. Every Friday afternoon dozens of students can stop by the Salvation Army Maple Street location to receive a back pack of free food. The program does not run during the summer. All of the food items provided to teenagers and students is intended to assist low income families in need. Many of the items offered can be prepared by the child with little to no assistance from their parents or adults, if the ability to do this is needed.

Hot Meals are provided Monday - Friday during the lunch period, which is from 12:00 PM (noon) until 1:00 pm. The Maple Street location, which is located at 190 South Maple Street, Akron, also provides this service each day except during holidays. Another option, if more convenient, is the Barberton Ohio location, which also serves free hot meals during the same time.

Christmas and school supply help in Summit County

Christmas assistance includes food boxes, meals, and the Angel Tree program. Every December hundreds of food boxes are made available by the Salvation Army. There are four different sizes made available, which will be established according to family size. All food items purchased are from the Akron Canton Food Bank. Each person also receives a small Acme gift card, which can be used to buy perishable foods.





The Angel Tree program provides gifts, winter coats, toys, clothes, and more to children and teenagers. The actual Tree itself is located at Chapel Hill Mall (location by JC Penney’s) while Women’s Auxiliary provides the bulk of the volunteers who distribute and provide gifts. The Angel Tree program may eventually be moved to the Summit Mall. In past years almost 20,000 toys or clothing items were distributed to children and seniors across Akron and Summit County.

Students from low income and families living in poverty can get help during the back to school shopping season. Based on donations, there is free school supplies, pens, clothes, shoes, belts, tablets, bookbags and more from the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army emergency financial aid in Akron and Summit County

Financial assistance is available in Summit County for paying rent, utilities, water bills, and other emergency expenses. Low income residents and people facing eviction, who live within Summit County and who are in need of rental assistance can receive help. The Salvation Army has limited funds that can offer assistance with a one-time cash payment of up to $300. Potential clients are eligible to apply for this emergency rental assistance at most one time each 24-month period. Each applicant will also be required to supply a letter stating that the eviction process will not occur within 30 days of any payment that is made.

Utility assistance can be provided for a number of bills, including water, heating, electric, and natural gas. Financial assistance is paid out by the Salvation Army of Akron if an applicant has a disconnect notice and meets other qualifications. The average payment made will be about $200, and people can apply for help at most once per year. Some walk in appointments are accepted as well. Or clients can apply for other Ohio energy bill assistance programs.

Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing is offered in partnership with Summit County Children Services, HM Life, The Salvation Army, and InfoLine, Inc. Those facing eviction or homelessness may apply. The government funds this program, and the Salvation Army is the lead agency and is responsible for administering the Homeless Prevention program and processing applications.

The organization will assist households (those who qualify by HUD requirements and are screened through InfoLine, Inc.). Each person who is found to be eligible will need to sign up for a case plan for approximately three to six months.  Depending upon the family’s exact need, each household can be assisted with paying their rental and housing costs (including security deposit and any back rent due), utilities, moving and other type of expenditures which will remain individuals/families housed. More on homeless or eviction prevention in Akron Ohio.





Akron and Summit County Salvation Army centers

There are many Family Stores and Social Service centers in the county as well as city. The exact assistance, whether financial or help such as food or school supplies, vary by office. The main Salvation Army locations in Summit County are below. Family Stores are open to the public and are equivalent to thrift stores.

  • Preschool, Child Care, and After School is at 135 Hall Street, Akron, OH 44303, (330) 762-8177
  • Summit County Area Services, 190 S. Maple, Akron, Ohio 44302, phone (330) 762-8481
  • 190 West Streetsboro Street, Hudson, Ohio, dial (330) 653-9461
  • 1006 Grant Street, Akron, phone number (330) 773-3335
  • 190 South Maple Street, Akron, Oh, call (330) 762-8177
  • 10258 Belmeadow Drive, Twinsburg, main number (330) 405-9832
  • 3333 Manchester Road, Akron, Ohio, call (330) 644-4545
  • 1634 Brittain Road, Akron, OH (330) 633-2575
  • 560 Wooster Road West, Barberton, Ohio, main number (330) 745-2836
  • 10031 Cleveland Avenue Northwest, North Canton, Ohio, dial the center at (330) 244-8619


By Jon McNamara

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