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Coxsackie food pantry overwhelmed by local needs

Aug 21, 2023 12:58 am

Andrea Macko reports for Porcupine Soup that the Coxsackie Area Food Pantry is looking for donations and help as the need for food increases locally. Charlotte Carter, director of the pantry, explains how demand has doubled. She said, “We provide food and supplies to around 160 families each month. In 2020 we saw an average of 80 households." The Coxsackie Area Food Pantry serves Coxsackie, West Coxsackie, Climax, Earlton, Hannacroix, and New Baltimore. But, Carter said, “The past few months have demonstrated that we can no longer continue to meet growing local needs as the price of food skyrockets." Food pantries, food banks, and free food fridges are helping some who can't get government help. Anyone who earns more than $32,580 a year can't get from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but if they are supporting several children, paying for rising food costs becomes difficult. Jen, a single mother of two from Catskill, didn't want her last name used, but said, “Food prices have been going up, but so has everything. It just snowballed. When I found myself checking to see if we qualified for food stamps I knew it was bad. I realized we needed some help.... If it wasn’t for the food pantry we would be in trouble.” Food prices nationally increased about 11 percent from 2021 to 2022, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Carter said that after the pandemic, "cuts in federal and state support compounded by inflation, left more families than ever in trouble.” The pantry has had to reduce the amount of meat and other high-cost staples it purchases recently. Anyone can send cash donations to the Coxsackie Area Food Pantry c/o 119 Mansion St, Coxsackie, NY 12051. Read more about this story in Porcupine Soup.

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