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Demand for food, volunteers continues to grow at regional food pantries

Aug 05, 2020 1:30 pm
Melisssa Hale-Spencer is reporting for the Altamont Enterprise half of the food pantries in the Capital District are experiencing an extreme increase in need, according to Natasha Pernicka, executive director of The Food Pantries for the Capital District. Food security affects more than one in 10 people in the Capital District, she said. “It doesn’t mean they’re starving. It means they don’t have access to healthy food or the resources for it on a regular basis,” Pernicka said August 5. Pernicka oversees a network of 65 food pantries, half of them in Albany County. She said the pandemic, “...is exacerbating the struggles a number of people are already dealing with. This year, year to date, a third of the pantries in Albany County are seeing an increase in service … We’re seeing a lot of new people,” she said. More than 20 percent of the food distributed by food pantries goes to children and more than 10 percent goes to seniors. Pernicka wants to get the word out that the pantries are there to help everyone; service is not income-based. “It’s based on your need,” she said. “So for individuals who  … are temporarily laid off … you go home with a minimum of three days of grocery items. Some pantries have household products. We also carry diapers and formula.” Homebound residents in need of food to call The Food Pantries for the Capital District at 518-458-1167. In Greene and Columbia counties, food pantries are located in Catskill, Chatham, Ghent, Greenville, Hudson, Round Top and Valatie. Read the full story in the Altamont Enterprise.
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