A Message From Our Interim Executive Director

Dear Friend, 

It has been a few weeks since my last update. I am excited to share with you some staggering statistics for the month of April:

  • 2,000,000 pounds of food distributed
  • Men, women, and children from 38,031 households turned to the emergency food network for assistance, this is a 50% increase in households when compared to April 2019
  • More than 51,400 children, a 65% increase when compared to April 2019, received food from one of our partner agencies or through a direct distribution

Your continued belief and support of the Food Bank helped to make these record distributions possible. Partnerships with community organizations, businesses, donors, and volunteers allow us to continue to meet the demand in our communities. In addition to the tremendous amount of donations that we have received from donors like you and local businesses, the Food Bank received a grant from the state of New York, Nourish New York, and food assistance from the federal government through the Coronavirus Federal Assistance Program (CFAP).

The Nourish New York initiative provides funding to the ten food banks in New York State to purchase dairy and produce from local farmers in New York that have been impacted by COVID-19. We hosted our first large-scale distribution of these foods last week at the New York State Fairgrounds. More than 70 Food Bank staff, New York State Fair staff, and volunteers assisted with the truck to trunk distribution of milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, cheese, butter, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries.

Almost 4,000 individuals from 950 households were able to get this healthy, nutritious food. Half of the people we served had never received support from the Food Bank and our emergency food network in the past. I was brought to tears when I saw young children waving and yelling thanks, parents whose faces showed worry, and seniors venturing out for the first time in months so they could obtain nutritious food. All were relieved and appreciative of the food received from this distribution. I invite you to click here to read about some of the lives impacted by this distribution. The article was written by Syracuse.com reporter, Patrick Lohmann.

CFAP is a federally funded program that aims to keep workers in the food industry employed and provide people in need with access to food. Through partnerships with Russo Produce, Broccoli Associates, Renzi Foodservice, Smith Packing Company, and G&C Foods, the Food Bank and our partners will receive thousands of boxes of fresh produce, dairy, and meats over the next six weeks that will go into our communities to help with the increased need.

Both programs, along with our normal distribution to our partner agencies, will aid us in getting healthy, nutritious food into the hands of people struggling with hunger. As we look forward, we know that the level of need will remain high. I promise the Food Bank will continue to ensure that nutritious food is available to people struggling with hunger. The effects of this pandemic will be with us for months, if not years, and our work will remain essential.

I hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy as our community begins to reopen. Together we can solve hunger!


Karen L. Belcher
Interim Executive Director