Hi, my name is Allison and I’m supporting the Food Bank of Central New York in this’s Project for Awesome. When you hear the words food bank, what do you think of? The first thing that comes to mind is probably a canned food drive at your school, church, or community center — but the food bank of Central New York does so much more than that They serve 11 counties in New York State. In this area, 1 in 8 people are food insecure; almost 200,000 people. Children and senior citizens are most likely to be impacted. But like I said it’s about more
than just collecting food. Yes, the Food Bank of Central New York does supply hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters across the state. They also partner with several local grocery stores to get donations of fresh foods directly from the stores. Last year they received over 4 million pounds of direct donations from grocery stores. The food bank also holds mobile food pantries, providing fresh produce, meat, dairy, and other perishable items to underserved communities like rural areas and food deserts. Other services the food bank provides includes a SNAP outreach to help clients get signed up for food stamps and other benefits; a discount food buying co-op program; and workshops in cooking, nutrition, gardening and more. These many ways to get assistance help clients retain dignity and agency over their food choices and home life. Food insecurity can happen to anybody in the face of hunger is changing. I’ve volunteered in a bunch of mobile food pantries, and seen people from all walks of life at them. The one thing they have in common is gratitude. The staff and volunteers at the Food Bank of Central New York are incredibly dedicated; they get to know the people and unique needs of the communities that they serve. And many of the volunteers at the mobile food pantries are clients who receive food themselves. Together the volunteers, staff, and clients of the Food Bank are pushing against the stigma of food insecurity and asking for help. If you’re watching this video during the 2019 Project for Awesome, you can vote for the Food Bank at Central New York to receive a portion of the donations received by visiting projectforawesome.com, or using the link in the description. Donations not only go to sourcing and purchasing food, but also supporting the wide range of programs the Food Bank offers to hundreds of thousands of people across the state. You can learn more about them at foodbankcny.org. Don’t forget to vote for this video on projectforawesome.com, and DFTBA!