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'The demand is increasing:' Food Bank of CNY works to meet community need

Monday, January 23, 2023

You have probably noticed your grocery bill skyrocketing in recent months, but for families who are already struggling to get by, many are now just a meal away from hunger.

Thanks to Food Bank of Central New York, people are getting help putting food on the table.

Most days before the sun comes up, you will find Robert Hance behind the wheel of his truck. It is packed with fresh produce and other food, bound for families in need. "It's makes you feel good. It's a job where you can be proud of the work that you do. You're helping people," Hance said.

Robert Hance delivers food for the Food Bank of Central New York (CNYCentral photo)

Some days, the Food Bank truck driver is picking up donated items from local grocery stores and bringing them to food pantries like the Interfaith Food Center @324 no matter what mother nature brings. "Rain, snow whatever is out there for us, we're out there delivering because it's important what we deliver. We're delivering food so people have meals," Hance said.

Every month, the Food Bank delivers thousands of pounds of food to its partner agencies like the pantry at the University United Methodist Church in Syracuse. The team works hard to ensure everyone has enough to eat.

"The demand is there, the demand is increasing and the community is gonna help us meet that demand." - Lynn Hy, Food Bank of CNY

Back in November, CNYCentral was with volunteers as they were getting 250 boxes of food ready to give out to local families. The meals come from the Food Bank of CNY through the USDA along with local grocery stores and farmers. "In a week, we will feed 1,000 Syracusans," said Galyn Murphy-Stanley, Executive Director of Interfaith Food Center @324. "So we move 1,000 pounds of recycled food that comes in on Friday which is wonderful. It's a fabulous program," she said.

The packages have produce, bread and desserts to supplement the staples that go in every box. "The trend has become that it's no longer emergency food. This is because rent is so high and utilities are so high," said Beth Dubois, Pastoral associate at the University United Methodist Church. "If they're making minimum wage, they can't rent an apartment. They can't support their children if they have a family. None of those things add up. So this is a way to help."

The organizers also rely on the kindness and generosity of the community, and they were touched by a recent donation from a young boy named Thomas. "We had a little boy who said to his mom, I want to help hungry people and he emptied out his piggy bank and he asked his mom to buy groceries. And so we got two wonderful bags of groceries," Dubois said.

A young boy's love and compassion making a difference for local children, families and seniors. All packed with love to ensure no one knows hunger in Central New York. "So our goal for the Food Bank is to work us out of a job. Our goal is to stop this. No more, certainly for emergencies, but no more subsidizing. Let's find a way to make sure folks have what they need to eat," Dubois said.

Volunteers unload the truck of food donated by the Food Bank of Central New York at Interfaith Food Center @324 in Syracuse (CNYCentral photo)

We hope you will joins us for our 10th annual Help Fight Hunger telethon on Thursday, January 26. CNYCentral is once again teaming up with the Food Bank of CNY, CXtec and Cumulus Media to help fight hunger in our community.

One in 8 people are food insecure and does not know where their next meal will come from. Every dollar donated with supply 3 meals to local families in need. The phones will be open from 5am-8pm.

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