Food Bank of Central New York: Essential to the Region

June 1, 2020

Categories: community

The Summit Federal Credit Union Virtual Taste of Syracuse helps support the Food Bank of CNY.

Our guest blogger is the Food Bank of CNY’s Interim Executive Director, Karen Belcher.

Every day, thousands of people rely on the emergency food network, and in times of crisis, that number grows. Since March of this year, Food Bank of CNY has seen changes in demand for food, sourcing products and distribution methods. We have pivoted our methods to keep as much nutritious food as possible flowing into our eleven-county service area. We have also adjusted staff and volunteer duties to better support our efforts while promoting a healthy work environment and social distancing.

Each day, we hear stories of parents struggling to feed their children and turning to the Food Bank for the first time ever! We hear about senior citizens who are desperate for fresh produce because they have not left their homes in fear of falling ill. We have also seen relieved faces when people turn to the emergency food network and receive nutritious food. Through all of this despair, people have shown their commitment to our community and to helping ensure there is nutritious food for others.

One of our newest partnerships is with The Summit Federal Credit Union, Tops Friendly Markets and the Taste of Syracuse. Due to social distancing requirements, the minds at Galaxy Events, producers of Taste of Syracuse, have decided to keep the event and tradition going, but with a new virtual spin. Like so many other businesses in our community, during the event they are inviting people to help provide food to our neighbors struggling with hunger. You, too, can help make a difference in a life.

For April 2020, there are some staggering statistics to share:

  • 2,000,0000 pounds of food distributed.
  • Men, women and children from 38,031 households turned to the emergency food network for assistance; this is a 50% increase in households when compared to April 2019.
  • More than 51,400 children, a 65% increase when compared to April 2019, received food from one of our partner agencies or through a direct distribution.

Your donation will help us to meet this increased demand – to help ensure a parent doesn’t have to sacrifice their own health by skipping meals to feed their child, or a senior won’t become more susceptible to becoming ill because their body doesn’t receive the proper nutrition.

Your continued belief and support of the Food Bank helped to make these record distributions possible. Partnerships with community organizations, businesses, donors and volunteers allow us to continue to meet the demand in our communities. In addition to the tremendous amount of donations that we have received from donors and local businesses, the Food Bank received a grant from the state of New York, Nourish NY, to purchase food from upstate growers. We also received food assistance from the federal government through the Coronavirus Federal Assistance Program (CFAP). Both programs, along with our normal distribution to our partner agencies, will aid us in getting healthy, nutritious food into the hands of people struggling with hunger.

As we look forward, we know that the level of need will remain high. I promise the Food Bank will continue to ensure that nutritious food is available to people struggling with hunger. The effects of this pandemic will be with us for months, if not years, and our work will remain essential.

The Summit Federal Credit Union Virtual Taste of Syracuse will be held June 5 & 6 on the Taste of Syracuse Facebook Page: Event details are at