UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — Located on Broadway, directly across from City hall, is Utica Food Pantry. The organization helps residents who qualify for the emergency food assistance program. Like many businesses, the pantry has also it’s share of difficulties since the pandemic.
“We offer a variety of very nutritious food to those in need, to those struggling, and there have been more and more of them with this Coronavirus. A few months ago actually i thought that the shelves were bare, I thought maybe we’d be out of business.” – Russell Brooks, Chairman of Board of Directors, Utica Food Pantry
Fortunately, a few companies and donations from residents have helped keep food on the shelves but, Russell says the pantry is always in need of more food.
“We get people everyday, new people that come in a sign up. We even have some that would come in donate food or money and now, they’re coming in for help. So, things have changed.” – Russell Brooks, Chairman of Board of Directors, Utica Food Pantry
They accept a variety of non perishable foods and monetary donations. Since the pandemic, the pantry has made some changes. You must follow the social distancing lines and all clients and staff must wear a mask.
“Their temperatures are taken and forms are filled out giving us a history of what they’ve been up to you know the past week. We’re as careful as we can be and we absolutely allow no school age children or any minors in the pantry.” – Russell Brooks, Chairman of Board of Directors, Utica Food Pantry
Russell’s been helping out with the pantry for more than 10 years and says the best way to help someone is with good, nutritious food.
“I believe the most important issue is feeding people. You can support them in a variety of ways but you have to start by feeding them.” – Russell Brooks, Chairman of Board of Directors, Utica Food Pantry
They’re open Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information visit their website here.