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  • Sue Smith Romero

Helping Families Over the Gap

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

The Utica Food Pantry’s “What’s for Lunch” program helped children through two weeks without school-supplied lunches.

Sandwich ingredients, cereal, fresh apples, and more filled bags to feed local kids at the end of the summer.

Michelle stood with her two school-age sons in the long line outside the Utica Food Pantry on August 31. She, along with all the others, waited to receive a paper grocery bag with enough supplies to make lunches for her boys for the week.

Their school, like most others in the area, had offered free lunches during the COVID-19 closure and throughout the summer. But those lunches stopped between August 24 and the first day of school on September 8. Thanks to your donations, the UFP was able to bridge this gap with food giveaways on both August 24 and August 31. Through these two events, you helped 200 families during this difficult time.

“I really appreciate that they recognized the gap,” Michelle said. “It’s a blessing that people are paying attention to what the community needs.” Her family had lost a large part of their income due to the unexpected economic impacts of COVID-19. She had to leave her job to stay home with her sons when the schools closed, and her husband’s hours and paychecks had been cut. But she said she was thankful that he still had his job.

Melinda, a mom with children in the Utica public school system, also stood in the line. Food is going quickly in her house with the kids at home instead of in school during the day. She said the pantry’s lunch supplies would help her food stamps last longer. But she also planned to share the food with her neighbors. Many of them don’t have cars and can’t get to the pantry on their own.

“Whatever I can’t use, I give to them,” Melinda said. “Nothing goes to waste.”

This is the real and crucial aid your donations make possible. Our clients truly appreciate it. Thank you for your generous support!

And if you'd like to make more giveaways like this happen, please click the yellow DONATE button in the upper right corner. Together we can give kids the energy they need to get the most out of their education.

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