UTICA, N.Y. (WFXV-TV) — This year food pantries across the nation are trying to keep up with the communities’ needs, but often times, fall short. Every November the Utica Food Pantry has an annual turkey giveaway, but this time they called on the community for more donations. That’s when 19-year-old Gianna Durso decided to step up and help out.

“When I first heard that the pantry was looking for like food or money I thought about saving extra. Like when I go buy stuff I save like the change and put it aside after so I can save up enough money.” – Gianna Durso, Food Pantry Donor

So she called up the pantry and donated $300 dollars.

“I want to donate all of things that I have like in my donation spot that I have and he was like okay! I felt really good at that time because I felt like he really appreciated it.” – Gianna Durso, Food Pantry Donor

Gianna has been donating to the pantry since she was 14 years old. From a young age, she says she’s always wanted to help those who have less.

“I wanted to feel like if they were apart of my family, because I never personally went through it so I wanted to help others feel like they have something to eat.” – Gianna Durso, Food Pantry Donor

Gianna graduated from Notre Dame High School in 2019. Now she’s studying at Herkimer Community College to become a teacher, in the future she says she will continue to donate to the pantry and hopes to inspire others to also give what they can.

“It’s not necessarily how much you should give. If you went through life not having food or like somewhere to live, you would want somebody to help you. I just wish that others would do the same thing.” – Gianna Durso, Food Pantry Donor