MALONE — Truckloads of cereal, canned goods, pasta and more are leaving Malone this week and next, destined for food pantries in four upstate counties.
A $23,000 grant obtained by the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity Food Service Division through the State Department of Health is bringing nutritious products to 20,000 North Country families, Program Director Dick LaVigne said.
He was bursting with excitement while conducting a tour of the warehouse and refrigeration unit where pallets of food were stacked to the ceiling, waiting to be loaded up for delivery to sites from Plattsburgh to Gouverneur.
“This is the biggest amount of food we’ve ever had. It’s crazy,” he said.
“We have to the end of June to distribute it, but we’ll have it all out of here by the end of the month.”
DIVIDING IT UP
Volunteers have separated the cases of food in 500-pound loads for the 10 smaller food pantries that site serves.
The seven medium-sized sites will get 1,000 pounds, the 20 pantries with a large service area will receive 1,500 pounds each, and the four with an extra-large client base will each be given 2,000 pounds.
The food was purchased through the Regional Food Bank near Albany.
A list taped to the back of the entrance shows a variety of items that families will receive, including peanut butter, mayonnaise, spaghetti sauce, egg noodles, soups, canned fruit, chicken breasts, yogurt, beef stew and chili.
This is in addition to the fresh foods, such as bread, meats and vegetables and fruits, that the individual pantries would give out in their service areas, LaVigne said.
And it is on top of the items the agency can obtain through its relationships with Feed the Children and Armful of Help, which coordinates donated-food deliveries from all over the country to local sites through long-distance truckers headed this way.