The mission of the Cooperstown Food Pantry is to address issues of poverty and hunger in northern Otsego County.


Currently in its 44th year, the Cooperstown Food Pantry provides an important safety net for area families forced to choose between paying for utilities, medicine, gasoline or food.  We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and all contributions made to Cooperstown Food Pantry are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.

In 1977, Ellen St. John of Cooperstown started the Cooperstown Food Pantry, then known as the Cooperstown Food Bank, in a closet at the village library.  In 1992, the First Presbyterian Church provided space which included the entire basement of the Church House. In 2014, the Pantry moved to a newly renovated first floor location in the same building. The name “Food Pantry” is a more recent designation for membership in Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest), a network of over 250 regional food banks serving all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The Cooperstown Food Pantry is a member agency of The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY located in Latham, near Albany.

Founding Director, Ellen St. John
Founding Director Ellen St. John retired in May of 2013 after 36 years.  Her strong leadership, gentle wisdom, and compassion for others is what has made the Pantry such an important part of the Cooperstown community. Her vision, influence, and enthusiastic helping hands continue to inspire the organization.

Executive Director
After 40 years of volunteer executive staff, Stacey Smith served as our first paid Executive Director from November 2017 to July 2019. She continues to share her knowledge and insights with us as an active volunteer and as a member of our Oversight and Advisory Board. In October of 2019 we welcomed Julia Perdue as our new Executive Director. In March of 2021, we welcomed Mary Kate Kenney as our new Executive Director. And most recently, in June of 2022, Will Kleffner joined us as our new Executive Director.