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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Schenectady Shares initiates drive to replenish food banks


SCHENECTADY ​- ‍Schenectady Shares is on a mission to collect 25,000 pounds​ of food and hygiene products,‌ as well as $25,000 in cash, by Feb. 10 to help restock food pantries and combat⁣ food insecurity in ‌the community.

Last year, ⁣the organization raised 20,767 pounds of food and hygiene products, ⁣along with $20,373 in cash, which went to support 13 food pantries across the county.

“Despite the ongoing ‌efforts of businesses, organizations, and ⁤individuals dedicated to supporting those in need, food insecurity remains a significant challenge in our community,” said ​Carmel Patrick, a Schenectady Council member and chairwoman ⁢of Schenectady Shares, during a press conference on ⁣Thursday ⁤morning.

Partnership with The Daily Bread Food Pantry

Schenectady Shares was founded after former city councilman Dave Bouck proposed a food⁤ drive, which led to the collaboration of local ⁢officials and ⁤community members to organize the event.

The organization will once again be partnering with ‌The Daily Bread Food ⁤Pantry, based out of St. Luke’s Roman⁢ Catholic Church in Schenectady, to manage and distribute‌ the donations to various ⁣pantries.

Jackie Clute,​ the volunteer executive director of The ‍Daily Bread ⁢Food​ Pantry, expressed the importance of the initiative, stating, “It’s an extremely important effort for the county of Schenectady.”

Increasing Need for Assistance

According to Clute, The​ Daily Bread Food Pantry is the second largest pantry in‌ the county and ‍has seen a 47% increase in ‌people seeking⁤ food assistance.​ Similarly, Schenectady‌ Community ‌Ministries (SiCM) reported ​a 26% ⁢increase in ‌individuals seeking food support from last year.

“A lot of things have improved in Schenectady, ⁣but food insecurity is not one of them,” Clute⁤ emphasized.

Addressing Cultural and Dietary​ Needs

Clute‍ also​ highlighted ‍the importance of⁤ being ‍culturally sensitive when providing food to those in need, ensuring that dietary restrictions and preferences are taken into account.

“We try to ensure we are culturally cognizant when providing people food, such as making sure⁣ there is fish ⁤and chicken for people who cannot eat pork due to their culture or religion,” she explained.

Community Support and Participation

Andy Gnoinski, ⁣the co-chairman of‍ Concerned for the Hungry Thanksgiving Day ​Effort, emphasized that⁣ food insecurity is a ⁣year-round and nationwide issue that affects everyone.

Last year,‌ the event had 30 drop-off locations, and ​this year, the organizers are expecting the same number, if not more.

Get Involved

For those interested in making a monetary donation, ⁢they can ‌send a check to The Daily Bread Food Pantry with the memo ‍line stating the check is for Schenectady Shares.

Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres, a native of Schenectady, has returned to his hometown after several years of reporting in the Midwest. A graduate of Missouri School of Journalism, Alex is known for his empathetic approach to local news, covering everything from community events to local governance, always with an aim to bridge diverse perspectives.
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  1. Great initiative! It’s important to support our local community and ensure that everyone has access to food. #SchenectadyShares #FoodBank


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