Lawmakers, volunteers pack bags of food ahead of state food summit

New York News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With millions still reeling from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, one local organization is doing everything it can to make sure families have food on their plates.

The Food Pantries for the Capital District hosted an in-person event Tuesday at the Arbor Hill Community Center Food Pantry where lawmakers and volunteers packed bags of food and discussed ways to end hunger in the Capital Region in preparation for New York’s third biennial food summit.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household survey, just one week into April and New York state had 1.2 million citizens experiencing a food shortage and over 16 million people nationwide despite an influx of state and federal funding.

Tuesday’s event was the second stop for guest speaker Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America. He is driving himself 8,000 miles through more than 20 states to visit food-related sites and continue his efforts for feeding America.

He said that despite funding, hunger throughout America is still a major issue. And for those impacted, places like the Albany food pantry are a small step on the way to ending hunger and food insecurity.

“Hunger is still here. It’s pervasive. It affects working people, children, seniors, people with disabilities, people who are still unemployed,” he said. “The top way to end hunger in America is to create an economy with living-wage jobs that pay enough and then make sure there is an adequate safety net.”

Wednesday’s food summit will be held virtually and will include guest speakers such as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

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