As a Clayton tradition is cancelled this year, area food pantries feel the effect

As a Clayton tradition is cancelled this year, area food pantries feel the effect

CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Shelves are being stocked at the Cape Vincent Community Food Pantry.

They’ve got supplies now, but Executive Director Rebecca Dowling says they’ll be down donations come October.

“A pickup truck load, pretty much a pickup truck load,” said Dowling.

It’s because Clayton’s Punkin’ Chunkin’ has been canceled this year.

The village's Chamber of Commerce made the call last week due to COVID-19.

The event typically draws thousands of visitors to the area and the head of Punkin Chunkin’s youth division, Dave Neuroth, says his kids bring in thousands of pounds of donations for area pantries.

“Last year, we had about five thousand pounds of food,” said Neuroth.

Gwen's Food Pantry Director Donna Chatterton helps divvy those donations up.

She says the five main pantries this year would have been her LaFargeville organization, Cape Vincent, Clayton, Alexandria Bay, and Theresa.

“We try to split equally the amount of canned goods and dry goods,” said Chatterton.

So, how much food is the Cape Vincent Community Food Pantry missing out without Punkin’ Chunkin'?

Dowling says donations combined usually cram a whole rack.

Dowling says her pantry will need to rely on more people donating, and have to dig into it's pocketbook to make up for the short fall.

“We’re going to have to either not have some of the times that we normally get through donations that we can’t purchase through the food, or that we have to take our money and purchase it through other retail outlets. And, that’s expensive,” said Dowling.

Chatterton says she's confident they'll all pull through.

“We’ll survive. It’s just, we don’t have the little bit of extra,” said Chatterton.

A boost to their stock they might not see until next October.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.