Food Pantries Get Boost From Foundation Money

Food Pantries Get Boost From Foundation Money

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Dozens of food pantries in the north country are once again sharing the benefit of a $40,000 grant from the Northern New York Community Foundation.

The annual grant is split up among more than 40 pantries, and goes to buy food. It can make a huge difference.

At the New Bremen food pantry Monday morning, the shelves were stocked full of food. The pantry helps feed - on average - 30 families each month. But that's only possible with donations from the community.

"Donations is the way we function," said Annette Tuttle, who volunteers at the pantry. "The funds, we stretch them as best we can, we try to make them last for what we need them for."

That's where the Community Foundation money comes in.

Shauna Roggie from Lewis County Opportunities oversees five food pantries in Lewis County including the one in New Bremen and says each location will get $1,000 to stock the shelves. She says that money goes a long way.

"A thousand dollars can purchase enough food for 3 months worth of food for up to 35-40 families and that's really huge in the community," Roggie said.

The Community Foundation money goes to organizations in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

"It's one of the most important things we do as a community foundation each year," said Max DelSignor, assistant director of the Community Foundation.

"There are folks that certainly that live in need and have a need and these food pantries really fill in an important gap for those folks who really need it the most."

Each of the food pantries receiving money has a partnership with the Food Bank of Central New York. Food pantries purchase items from the food bank at a cheaper rate than they could at a grocery store.

Roggie said it can cost anywhere between $20 - $40,000 a year to operate a food pantry.. depending on how many people it serves.

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