Lean times at food bank

Somewhere between the summer months and the holidays, the local food pantries get forgotten. While people are soaking up the summer sun, they sometimes forget about the spirit of giving.

Scotia-Glenville Food Pantry volunteer and coordinator Janice Cooper said that the costs associated with busy summers, back-to-school preparations, and fall events have risen, resulting in shrinking food pantry inventories.

Everything is going up, and we can feel it. This is the time of the year when we have the least. It always picks up at holidays, but right now things are too quiet, said Cooper.

The Scotia-Glenville Food Pantry is the product of local churches working together. It is housed in the basement of the Scotia Baptist Church on Mohawk Avenue. The bulk of its donations come from the Regional Food Bank in Latham, although, Cooper said, it also receives a lot of support from Scotia and Glenville residents.

Cooper said one of the food bank's biggest challenges is getting someone out to the regional food bank to transport food back to Scotia. She said right now they make about two trips a month and need to do more.

The regional food bank does not transport food to Scotia due to it small size compared to other food pantries. The Scotia-Glenville pantry receives a grant on a monthly basis from the Regional Food Pantry, which decides an amount to give based on statistics sent in every month from Cooper and other volunteers.

Cooper said that in 2007, the number of families looking for assistance increased by about 34 percent. She said for the first time the pantry had to limit the amount of visits per month too, although, she said, they would also never turn anyone away. She said the majority of those in need are younger families and senior citizens. Cooper stressed the pantry receives a lot of support from the Scotia-Glenville schools, the Scotia-Glenville Rotary and area churches through fundraisers, but she added that that type of help typically is in November and December.

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