Town Food Pantry
When we, my husband Jim and daughter Dulcie and I, relocated to the area in 1987 there was a Food Pantry in operation whose only food supply was the Gleaning Program out of Malone. In 1989, Leo Cummings and Bob Jaquis (who died in 1999) took over the food distribution. Realizing other foods were available, they contacted Mary Ellen Keith who was in charge of the Town of Franklin Pantry. With her help, the Town of Brighton became a "sister Pantry" to the Town of Franklin under the sponsorship of St. Paul's Church, Bloomingdale and Church of the Assumption, Gabriels. Father Joe Trombley was pastor at the time. This sponsorship enabled us to become members of the Regional Food Bank of New York in March of 1995. At this time, John Bray was in charge of ordering and new items were made available to the residents. In the Fall of 1996, I became Director/Coordinator and have been running the program since. It's a rewarding experience
We receive deliveries from Com-Links - the Gleaners in Malone on the first and third Thursdays of each month; and now we also receive our food items from Latham - the Food Bank - on these same days, so Thursdays are extremely busy. My volunteers arrive around 7:45 a.m. to set up items we have. I arrive around 8:00 a.m. to help when deliveries arrive from Malone. These items are a variety of dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), breads, cereals, pies, salad dressings and fresh produce. We also receive canned items and juices.
Volunteers then drive into Saranac Lake to pick up our Latham order, returning to Town Hall at 10:00 a.m. where we set up for distribution later in the day. Around 2:30 P.M. final preparations are done.
We receive a wide variety of canned, refrigerated and frozen foods. Many items come at no cost to the pantry - others are minimal in cost. Grants I apply for each year offset these costs. The amount of these grants varies from year to year. This season's amount was $6800, which enabled me to access a wider variety of canned vegetables, meats, sauces, entrees, as well as frozen meats and vegetables. I do feel people are happy with the selection provided. Our number of individuals has risen dramatically. Last year's total was 2,475 people who were fed by our pantry.
Now, I've mentioned "my volunteers." Without their dedicated help, none of what happens would be possible. Many hours and hard work are what make out pantry a success. There's that paperwork, too, which I'm responsible for.
Heartfelt thanks go to Leo Cummings, Roger and Francis Lester, Maureen MacDowell and Arnold Fromme. And our newest helper, Don Haley. Then there's the Town of Brighton Highway Men: Don Oliver, Glen Perrino, Andy Crary and Forrest Pennington. They make a lot of heavy lifting and moving "light and fun." They're always there for us when we need them. Many, many thanks. There are those who help when they can, time and jobs or school permitting. There are Boys Scouts, Lake Clear School, Girl Scouts, other local affiliations and the Post Offices who often run food drives and then donate these items to the Pantry! Again, thank you!
Our pantry days are the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month unless otherwise notified, from 1:00-3:00. We ask people to call for boxes to be done up ahead of time, if they're going to be late. There are guidelines to be observed and it's kept confidential. Anyone in an emergency situation just has to give me a call at 327-3297. No one needs to be hungry! I always make sure we have enough. Ask Leo, he'll tell you! So will Roger and Francis.
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Town of Brighton
P.O. Box 260 · Paul Smiths, NY 12970
518-327-3202 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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