AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — At the time when No Neighbor Hungry first launched and wrapped up, the community helped to raise over $300,000. Now, just about all of that money is practically gone, and it’s time to stock the shelves again.
“We want to give people hope,” said Michael Castellana, CEO and President of SEFCU. “You see these massive parking lots with lines and lines and lines of people, I think people think that’s not happening here but in fact it is. It’s happening in these small neighborhoods and in these small food pantries and it’s up to us.”
Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties is one of 30 local non profit food pantries involved, and food pantry coordinator Alice Burgato says during these colder months, the challenge to help becomes much greater. They tend to run low on things you may not normally think of.
“Cooking oil, butter, that people find it a little harder to purchase in the stores,” Burgato said. “Fresh produce is a good item to give out because a lot, we get a lot of canned but fresh is always good.”
The food pantry served around 10,769 individuals this year that comes to an average of 897 per month. Burgato says over 4,000 of those people who used the pantry had never been served by them before.
“We have been finding a lot more families coming in from different walks of life,” Burgato said. “Other people being out of work possibly or hours have been cut, they do need that little bit of assistance throughout the month.”