Kent Social Services

Kent Social Services (KSS) is dedicated to enhancing the nutrition of low-income people in the Kent area.

94¢

of every dollar donated goes toward direct service.

100,000

people are served each year through our programs.

3,500

individuals volunteer every year.

WHAT WE DO

Kent Social Services (KSS) is the only hot meal site in Kent and provides meals at no cost five days a week. KSS serves 50-60 individuals a day, 25,000 nutritious meals annually and distributes 10,000 bags of groceries annually. The facility serves as a place for adults to gather to relax, socialize and benefit from occasional educational programs. Referral services are also offered.

MEAL TIMES

Monday 11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Tuesday 11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Wednesday 11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Thursday 4:30 pm – 5:15 pm

Friday 11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Sunday 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (except for the third Sunday when the meal is offered at the Kent United Church of Christ)

GROCERIES

The Lord’s Pantry provides approximately three bags of basic grocery staples once a month to financially vulnerable families and individuals who meet federal income eligibility requirements. Since there are numerous food pantries in Portage County, each one serves specific geographic areas. KSS serves households living in Kent, Franklin Township and the part of Brady Lake that is in the Kent public school district. Appointments must be made in advance and there is about a four-day wait from the call to the appointment (although emergency orders may be taken if time permits). For the first appointment, participants should bring a photo ID and proof of residence, such as a utility bill or lease.

DONATIONS

Money: Monetary donations are greatly appreciated because KSS is a member of the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank. Membership enables KSS to purchase food at about one-third the cost of the same purchase at a retail grocery store. As a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

Non-perishable Food: Food donations are valuable as the Food Bank’s food inventory is very limited. In order to provide a nutritional variety of foods, non-perishable food items are always welcomed. In particular, items frequently needed are: peanut butter, tuna, cereal, pasta, canned fruits, rice and bean products. Recognizing that expiration dates indicate food quality rather than safety precautions, KSS accepts foods that are expired up to two years ago. KSS employees are happy to assist organizations that would like to host a food drive.

Perishable Food: KSS benefits from donations of perishable foods to to support the hot meal program. Food often comes from restaurants, grocery stores, catering services, church potlucks or wedding receptions. Under Ohio’s Good Samaritan Act, donors are protected from liability when donating perishable food that has been handled in good faith. Gardeners are also encouraged to donate excess produce to KSS for use with the hot meals or the pantry distribution. Fresh produce is a welcome treat for KSS consumers!

Other needed items: Individuals who struggle financially are often in need of other important items. The following items are distributed based on the amount available: Personal hygiene products, winter hats, scarves, gloves, sock, diapers, baby food, feminine products and pet food.

School Supplies: Low-income families incur a large expense for clothing, class materials and school supplies at the beginning of the school year. KSS and the Center of Hope provide school supplies to low-income families having children in school from kindergarten through 12th grade. Donations of the following items are greatly needed to ensure that children are adequately equipped for learning: pencils, pens, crayons, notebook paper, rulers, markers, folders and backpacks.

Thanksgiving and Christmas: KSS and the Center of Hope join forces to provide over 1,400 boxes containing generous amounts of food for both Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Food boxes are offered to low-income families, seniors and the disabled. Food and monetary donations are needed for traditional holiday food items, including turkeys and $10 grocery store gift cards enabling seniors to purchase their own meat.

A generous amount of toys are also provided to low-income families with children at Christmas. Parents who have registered for toys are able to choose the gifts for their children who are up to the age of 16. Donations of $15 gift cards from discount department stores are appreciated by parents of teenagers, who are more challenging to buy for. Younger children typically receive: a major toy, stuffed animal, game, book, item of clothing, craft, and stocking stuffers. Donations of these items provide a wonderful way to expand the joy of the holidays for oneself and for others!

VOLUNTEER

Volunteers are the lifeblood of KSS operations. Volunteers of all ages and skill levels support the program. Volunteering provides face-to-face encounters between people of differing economic classes, which enhances community relationships. KSS is a grassroots organization that relies solely upon community partnerships in order to fulfill its mission to enhance the lives of vulnerable residents.

Volunteer opportunities include: picking up food with a personal vehicle, sorting non-perishable food items, preparing meals, clerical support work, yard work, cleaning, sidewalk snow shoveling, holiday toy sorting and packing holiday food boxes.

Please call ahead to schedule volunteer time so that the experience is meaningful. Children under the age of 16 are welcome to volunteer, but must have an adult to supervise. Not all volunteer activities involve serving at the facility. Groups can provide items prepared off-site such as: hand-crafted holiday decorations, bags filled with personal care items and filled Easter baskets.

SPEAKING TO YOUR GROUP

KSS employees are prepared to speak to community groups about issues pertaining to hunger and local poverty. Employees are happy to accommodate your schedule and are available to meet with groups in the evening and on the weekends.

Program Mission

To feed the body and the spirit of vulnerable people in the Kent community through the provision of hot meals, groceries and a caring attitude.

LOCATION
CONTACT

1066 S Water St.
Kent, OH 44240
P: 330.673.6963
F: 330.673.6964

HOURS

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 am – 3pm
Thursday: 10:30 am – 5:30pm