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Local News: Johnson Park Center Food Giveaway Scheduled for Monday, May 23rd

What: The JPC Drive-Thru Free Food Giveaway

When:  Monday, May 23, 2022, from 2 pm to 6:30 pm. (Rain or Shine)

What: The JPC Walkers Free Food Giveaway

When: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, from 3 pm to 6 pm. (Rain or Shine)   

Where: Johnson Park Center (JPC) Food Pantry, 1400 West Street (Block) Utica, NY 13501

Contact: JPC Office from 1 pm to 5 pm (315) 734-9608

Utica, NY. “Food insecurity looks different in every household. For some families, the pantry is completely empty. In others, parents skip dinner a few nights a week so their kids can have something to eat in the evening. No matter how food insecurity manifests, a lot is at stake for these children, families, and the communities where they live. When kids don’t get the consistent nutrition they need each day throughout the year, it’s harder for them to grow up healthy, educated, and strong. Consistent access to nutrition is linked to cognitive and physical development, better long-term health, higher test scores, and better education outcomes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these existing deep-rooted disparities, increasing the severity of myriad health and economic crises and pushing millions more families into poverty and hunger throughout the country. In New York, the new reality created by the pandemic has made it harder for children to access no-cost meals provided by schools and community organizations. As a result, 1 in 5 kids may face hunger in New York. 1 Recent increases in child poverty and the rising cost of food and fuel have resulted in continued very high demand for emergency food. 

At the same time, these increasing food and fuel costs have made it more challenging for food banks to distribute food to communities in need. There are nearly 3 million New Yorkers facing food insecurity every day. Food banks, food pantries, and emergency food providers process, store, and distribute food to hungry families and single individuals. While economic uncertainty remains for working families and singles, in our state, this investment will help emergency food providers fight hunger by delivering more food to more people, according to “Feeding New York Statement on State Budget,” stated by NO Kid Hungry, Share our Strength, New York State. 

We are thankful for the many in our community working together with JPC to fight hunger and food insecurity. We thank our ongoing funders and donors for the financial gifts to purchase food for needy persons. With the support from the Food Bank of Central New York (FBCNY), generous food donations from the Compassion Coalition, various Financial Donors-(government, private & organizations, and individuals), and our fantastic volunteers, staff, and board, we will have the JPC  Food Pantry Drive-Thru (cars/vehicles only) Free Food Giveaway for disadvantaged families, seniors and single individuals around JPC Sites in the 1400 Block of West Street, Utica, New York 13501 Rain or Shine on Monday, May 23, 2022, from 2 pm to 6:30 pm. 

Starting on the corner of Arthur and West Streets, cars/vehicles will line up at the registration station. The Registration Personnel wearing facemasks will check all Participants’ JPC Food Pantry Card (JPCFPC). If you do not have a JPCFPC, the Registration Personnel will ask you to print your name and check the processed cards. If they find your card, they will give it to you. If the Registration Personnel does not see your card, they will direct you to the Intake Station. The Intake Personnel will check for the status concerning your JPCFPC. If needed, they will assist you in completing the required documents on-site to receive a JPCFPC. The Registration or Intake Personnel will place the number of households represented on each car windshield. Then you will drive up to each Food Station, where volunteers will put the food in your car/vehicle.

If you do not have a car/vehicle, please come to the JPC Food Pantry Walkers Free Food Giveaway on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, between 3 pm to 6 pm in the 1400 Block of West Street Utica, New York 13501  (Rain or Shine)

A tractor-trailer full of food will be available to give to the community. Food items may include chicken helper, rotisserie chicken,  beef stew, cheese, eggs, mashed potatoes, fresh produce, fresh fruit, almonds, yogurt,  cereal, crescent rolls, bread, etc. During these challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic, by fighting hunger and food insecurity, the JPC Free Food Giveaway helps families, seniors, and singles to have food on their tables, be food secured and be a stepping stone to self-sufficiency.

Mark Ziobro
Mark Ziobro
Mark is the current Managing Editor for The Utica Phoenix, and a Central New York Native.

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