Herkimer, NY - Herkimer County Hunger Coalition founder, Ray Lenarcic, stands on his front porch holding a sign with the names and contact information of food pantries who have offered to extend their reach to parents and students who have been affected by the loss of breakfast-lunch programs at school due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lenarcic urges that families use these resources that are available to them saying,
"This is critical because on weekends, and possibly during the week, the efforts of the local schools to reach these families - they do the best they can - they may not reach them all. Going to the local pantries will help these families with their food needs. But the bottom line is especially for people whose children are (a part of) free breakfast and lunch, many of whom have not heard of the pantries, they're there for you. They will accomodate your needs."
The Herkimer County Salvation Army has taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their vistors and volunteers. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, people were able to shop around the pantry, but not anymore.
Captain John Wood, Pastor and co-officer of the Salvation army says, "A lot of our volunteers are older and they are more susceptible to the germs going around so in order to help cut back on that, instead of us being able to have folks go through the pantry, our volunteers are actually going through the pantry and selecting the items for them but they are given a list of what we have so they can decide what they want to take."
Lenarcic advises that if you are a senior or if you are sick to send someone else to pick up your goods for you. Dolgeville has set up a "drive-thru" like system at their pantry.
It also helps the pantry if you call ahead before arriving. You must show identification, proof of residence and the number of people in your household.
Here are the hours and contact information for food pantries associated with the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition:
- Dolgeville - United Methodist Church - 21 N. Helmer / Thursdays 3-4:30 PM and Sat. 9 AM / 315-429-3310)
- Frankfort-Ilion - Annunciation Parish Center - 60 West St. / Mon-Fri 1-3PM / 315-894-9917
- Kuyahoora Valley - 8202 St. Rte. 28 - Newport / Mon. and Weds. 1-4:15 PM and Weds. 6-7PM / 315-845-8286
- Little Falls - Little Falls Community Center - 45 Furnace St. / Tues.-Fri. 12:00-2PM / 315-823-1793
- Herkimer - Salvation Army - 431 N. Prospect St. / Mon.-Fri. 12:30-2:30 PM / 315-866-1240
- Old Forge - St. Bartholomew's Food Pantry 103 Crosby Blvd. / Tues. and Thurs. 4:00-6:00PM / 315-369-3554
- West Winfield Pantry - Federated Church - 452 E. Main St. / Mon-Fri 1:00 PM-3:00 PM / 315-822-6321
- Van Hornesville-Jordanville Pantry - Van Hornesville Post Office - 2178 Rte. 80 / Weds. 12:30-2:30 / 315-219-3942