Business, Central New York, Community, Consumer, food, Health, Non-profit

Food Banks Provide Nutritious Food Year-Round

Food Bank of Central New York provides food to those in need throughout 11 counties in Central and Northern New York. (c) 2017 Erica Pieschke.

By Erica Pieschke SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Food Bank of Central New York provides healthy food options to those in need. Covering 11 counties in central and northern New York, the food bank distributes more than 1 million pounds of food monthly.

While non-perishable items are important to have, such as canned fruits and vegetables and rice, Lynn Hy, Chief Development Officer for Food Bank of Central New York, says that they are trying to focus more on receiving perishable items.

“They’re the types of foods that tend to be a little bit out of reach,” Hy said. “Because of their expense for families that are stretching their budget dollars, so your fresh produce, low-fat dairy items and lean meats and protein items.”

The food bank delivers these products to food pantries within each county. Each food pantry can go online to see what is available in the food bank at the moment and compare it to their needs, then order what is necessary to fill their shelves.

“People don’t have to leave the community that they’re in to access that healthy nutritious food that they need,” Hy said.

One in eight people in the central and northern New York area don’t have access to nutritious food year-round, but as the holidays approach more community members are looking to help and make their own contribution. Food drives are held across the country during this time of year to help others enjoy a festive meal.

However, Hy says most people don’t realize that the summer months is where the demand is. This is when kids are out of school and they no longer receive the free or low-cost meals that they get during the school year.

Hy feels it is important to come together as a community to help those in need. After working with the organization for seven years, she loves the sense of satisfaction.

“It’s great to know that every single day, that what I did in my efforts,” Hy said. “I helped feed hungry people.”