Who is Served?
The Cooperstown Food Pantry serves individuals and families who live in the northern two-thirds of Otsego County. For many, the Food Pantry is the first place that families in crisis turn to for assistance.
People are often surprised to learn that nearly 50% of clients visit just once or twice a year. Visits can be prompted by unemployment, underemployment, illness, injury, divorce, domestic violence, unexpected bills and car repairs. Often, those seeking assistance are outside the Social Service system.
At the Pantry, referrals are not required, payment in any form is not accepted, and no one is ever turned away. Many clients visit when taxes are due or when heating costs peak. Summer is also a busy time at the Pantry as children who take advantage of free or reduced cost breakfast and lunch are eating at home.
Where Does the Food Come From?
As a member of Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the country, we have access to a wide variety of products. About 80% of our food and personal care inventory is purchased through the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, located in Latham, NY.
Manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and farmers donate both first quality food and personal care items, as well as discontinued product lines, overproduction and production flaws, mislabeling or shipping errors, cosmetic flaws, under-harvested or imperfect produce, and code dated products.
We purchase donated and salvage goods for 16 cents per pound. Other grocery items are offered at market wholesale prices. USDA products, which we also obtain via the Regional Food Bank, are obtained at no charge.
Feeding America estimates that we purchase about $10 worth of food and personal care items for every dollar that we spend as a member of our Regional Food Bank.
The other 20% of our inventory comes from local farmers, gardners and donations from the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, Price Chopper’s Fresh Recovery program, and you!