Letter from Stacy Boyles, JLSC President

The Junior League of Stark County and non-profit organizations like us are needed more than ever during these unprecedented times.  While adjusting to living, working, and volunteering during a pandemic, our membership and members have been challenged in ways that are indescribable.  But this year has also brought members of this community closer than ever to face the growing needs within our county.

We are continuing with our recent transformation to the Community Impact Model with our league’s focus on Food Insecurity in order to stimulate a deeper impact and build quality educational experiences for members.  In 2019, 14.2% of Stark County’s population was food insecure. The food insecurity rate increased to 20.5% for children.  For some children, the only meals they eat were provided for free or at reduced cost at school and with more schools going remote/partially remote, they have lost their only steady food source.  With record breaking unemployment rates, some families are facing this struggle for the first time.  Data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is projected to increase food insecurity in 2020 in Ohio by over 5%, earning Ohio the tenth highest food insecure rate in the United States.  The need in our community is greater than ever and we are collaborating with organizations, like the Edward “Peel” Coleman Community Center, the YWCA, First Tee of Canton, and many others, to help meet these needs.  We have had to get a little creative and find new ways to do programming to make it safer for those we serve.  It has and will continue to be a year of adjustments, pivots, transformations, and compassion but I am so excited to see what impact JLSC has on this world.

The Junior League is one of the largest networks of women leaders and we will embrace these changes and face today’s challenges head on.  We are not alone, and we will get through this year and those that follow together.  I am honored to serve as this year’s President and to get the chance to work with these really amazing women.