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Food Pantry

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Slaterville Springs, New York
The Caroline Food Pantry in Brooktondale, NY
The U.S.D.A. recently reported that 50 million Americans, about 15% of the population, suffered food insecurity during 2010. Food insecurity ranges from a reduction in the quality or variety of food to an insufficient quantity of food. 

The Town of Caroline is no exception to this statistic. On the first and third Mondays of each month, the Caroline Food Pantry distributes food to nearly 500 individuals, about 15% of our population. 

Food insecurity can affect all kinds of people, not just the chronically poor—a single parent returning to school, a retired couple hit hard by the devaluation of the stock market, a family deeply in debt due to medical bills incurred from cancer treatment, the elderly on fixed income, seasonal workers during the off-season. Many will need food support only for a limited time. Some people who no longer need the pantry are now donors and volunteers.

The pantry obtains food from a variety of sources. Local stores, a C.S.A., and local farmers donate food, and we benefit from food collections conducted by schools, the United Way, other churches, and postal carriers. We grow some of our own food in our 50' x 175' garden, which provides fresh vegetables for eight months out of the year. In early summer, we distribute seeds, plants and gardening manuals to those who have the energy and space to plant a garden, and bucket gardens of tomatoes, peppers, herbs and salad greens are distributed to the elderly and disabled.

But most of the food we distribute comes from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Although we buy at discounted prices, we cannot support our operation without grants and contributions. We receive support from New York State, Tompkins County, the Town of Caroline, and charitable institutions like the United Way. But these provide less than half of our $55,000 annual budget. Almost all of the rest comes from individual contributions. 

The pantry’s current goal is to provide three meals a day for three days to each person served. The cost beyond grants and donated food is about $3 per person. This means we need to raise around $35,000 per year from people like you. We hope you will consider making a monetary donation to help us meet our goal and continue our services. Giving in this way is an opportunity for us to join together to improve the quality of life for everyone.

You can help by sending a check made out to the “Caroline Food Pantry” to 

The Caroline Food Pantry
PO Box 51
Brooktondale, NY 14817

One-time donations or monthly contributions are welcome. If you would like envelopes for reminders for monthly contributions, we will provide them. The food pantry is a 501(c)3 organization, so all donations are fully tax deductible.
For further information, or if you would like to know about how you can volunteer to work at the food pantry, contact Suzy Larkin by email, SCL8@cornell.edu, or telephone (607) 539–7299. You can stop by the Old Brooktondale Firehall to help from time to time, or become a regular worker. We welcome whatever help you can provide.