The mission of the Cooperstown Food Pantry is to address issues
of poverty and hunger in northern Otsego County.
Currently in its 45th 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 New York, located in Latham.
Founding Director, Ellen St. John
After 36 years, the Cooperstown Food Pantry’s founding Director, Ellen St. John, retired in May of 2013. Her strong leadership, gentle wisdom, and compassion for others is what makes the Pantry such an important part of the Cooperstown community. Her vision, influence, and enthusiastic helping hands continue to inspire members of this organization.
In 2017, after 40 years of volunteer executive staff, the Cooperstown Food Pantry Board of Directors made the decision to hire a fulltime Executive Director to undertake responsibilities for day-to-day operations.
The Cooperstown Food Pantry is governed by a dedicated, dynamic Board of Directors who provide oversight and set goals to support the mission of the organization.
Board of Directors
Sharon Oberriter, President
Audrey Murray, Vice President, Inventory and Ordering
Rose Craine, Treasurer
Maureen Murray, Secretary
Bill Waller, Chair, Budget and Finance Committee
Dr. Eric Mooney
Stacey Smith, former Executive Director
Interested in serving on the Cooperstown Food Pantry Board of Directors as a board member of non-voting committee member? Please call the Pantry at (607) 547-8902 to leave a message for our President.
Will Kleffner joined the Cooperstown Food Pantry as Executive Director in June 2022. A graduate of the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Kleffner is using his background in nonprofit administration to work with the board, volunteers, and community to further the mission of the Pantry throughout northern Otsego County. As a former volunteer of the Cooperstown Food Pantry, Kleffner is honored to continue his involvement with the organization and serve as a steward of the Pantry’s programs and services.