The Jackson Township restaurant was the grand champion at Taste of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

CANTON  "At The Rail, we're all about local. And part of that is supporting the community and people in need," Chad Caplinger said.

Director of operations for area burger chain The Rail, Caplinger's Jackson Township restaurant has participated for four years in Taste of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the major fundraiser for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. "The food bank is a great cause and the people there are passionate," he said.

At Tuesday's 10th annual Taste event, held Tuesday at the Hall and attended by more than 700 people, The Rail was voted grand champion by the attendees. Its booth served up three different Ohio-sourced burgers, including a caprese burger with fresh mozzarella and basil, and a half-beef, half-Andouille sausage Mojo burger. The Rail's win qualifies it to represent the Hall of Fame in the Taste of the NFL event at the Super Bowl.

"Every dollar donated to the food bank buys four meals," Caplinger said. "That's been powerful motivation for our team. We love supporting them."

Foodbank spokesperson Kat Pestian was feeling especially celebratory Tuesday. "Last year, we raised enough (at Taste) to provide almost 700,000 meals," she said. "This year, we think it's going to be about $190,000 or 760,000 meals."

The 22 food and beverage purveyors who participated in this year's Taste donated all their food and time. By 7 p.m., Pav's Creamery of Green had gone through 500 glazed mini-doughnuts used in its ice-cream sundaes. "This is the only event I do, and I get asked to do a million and one," said Pav's owner Nick Pappas. "It costs a lot, but it's such a great cause and the response is instantaneous. We see people the next day who discovered our ice cream here." Sept. 21 is the projected opening date for Pav's North Canton location, he said.

To make its crab cakes, a visibly popular item at Taste, North Canton's Main Street Grille used 27 pounds of crabmeat, 22 pounds of cole slaw and remoulade using 16 pounds of crawfish. "We're glad to be here," owner Preston Milstead said. "At the foodbank they do a lot of really good stuff."

Driftwood Bistro, located in the Embassy Suites in Jackson Township, had an especially ambitious plate at Taste, with hickory- and cherry-smoked brisket, bacon mac and cheese, and bourbon peach cobbler. "They're things off of our regular menu. We have a smoker on the property," said Maggie Verduce from the hotel events staff. "This is our first year here and it's been awesome. A lot of people still don't know about us."

Returning for her fifth year at Taste, and the victor her first three years, was avid foodbank supporter Sherry Schie from Shy Cellars restaurant in Strasburg. This time, she brought 500 servings of tender, slow-cooked goat, prepared with cloves, star anise, lemon thyme, ted and white wine and other ingredients.