Kent Social Services

Kent Social Services commits to feeding the body and spirit of vulnerable people in the community through the provision of hot meals, groceries, and a caring attitude. 

Kent Social Services (KSS) is dedicated to enhancing the nutrition of low-income residents of the Kent area by serving as the largest and most comprehensive hot meal and food pantry program in Kent.

Originally established in 1920, KSS has a long history of serving the residents of Kent. In the late 1990s, Sister Jordan Haddad began the hot meal program and operated it out of a rotation of donated spaces in Kent. During this time, KSS merged with Family & Community Services, Inc. after the retirement of long-time KSS Director, Marie Miller. FCS then purchased the former L&K Restaurant on South Water Street for KSS so that Sister Jordan’s hot meal and food pantry programs could have a permanent home.

Today, KSS serves over 20,000 hot meals a year and provides over 100,000 pounds of groceries to households in need. Additionally, KSS serves as a facility that builds support networks between people. Senior citizens, people with disabilities, and individuals experiencing homelessness all regularly gather here, helping to strengthen relationships and allowing them to gain information about other area support agencies.

PROGRAM HOURS:
MONDAY-FRIDAY: 9AM-3PM
SATURDAY-SUNDAY: CLOSED

WHO WE SERVE

Nutritious hot meals are provided 5 days a week at no cost and with no questions asked of guests. These meals are available to anyone who is hungry. Due to the pandemic and ongoing construction, meal distribution is currently happening on a carry-out basis instead of dining in. Please arrive between 11:30am and 12:30pm, Monday through Friday to receive your meal.

Groceries from our food pantry are available to households twice a month. You must be within the Kent school district and have an income level below the amounts established by Job & Family Services.

Please call ahead to make an appointment, which is usually scheduled 3 days in advance, although emergency help is available. Appointments are scheduled from 9:30am-2:30pm, Monday-Friday. You must bring a photo ID to every food pick-up appointment and provide proof of Kent residency once a year.

If you are unable to pick up pantry orders yourself, you may have someone else pick them up for you as long as they follow the guidelines. Please call ahead for more information

1 in 6

people in Portage County

are food insecure

$4.33

the average amount that SNAP recipients 

receive to spend on food per person each day

12,000+

volunteer hours are 

provided each year 

CURRENT NEEDS

Having no ongoing or permanent source of funding, KSS relies solely upon the community for volunteer labor, food, and monetary donations.

We are always accepting non-perishable food donations in order to provide a greater variety of food options to our pantry patrons. However, we do not accept expired food items.

The following food items are always in high demand:

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned tuna
  • Cereal 
  • Fresh produce

We also accept donations of coats to provide to patrons as the weather gets colder.

We are always in need of monetary donations because they enable us to purchase food from the Akron-Canton Food Bank. KSS can purchase more food on the dollar from the Food Bank than a donor can purchase from a retail grocery store. 

In addition to donations, KSS is in need of volunteers to perform tasks such as cooking, stocking shelves, sorting non-perishable foods, clerical work, weeding, cleaning, and shoveling snow. Please call in advance to schedule a time to volunteer. If you want to contribute but have limited time, please consider hosting a food drive or sponsoring a fundraiser!

Making An Impact

“I have been widowed for 7 years. The stock market wiped out our savings which left me alone and without the income we saved and worked for all our lives. Without KSS I would not have food from month to month. I thank God for this center and people who care.”

– A Client of Kent Social Services