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Food Bank of CNY breaks ground on new expansion to distribution center

 Many people wearing hard hats sticking large utensils acting as shovels into dirt
Morgan Caviness
Many people who made the expansion possible gather to break ground on the new expansion on the Food Bank of CNY distribution center

Even more Central New Yorkers who need help getting food for themselves and their families will be served through a major expansion of the Food Bank of CNY.

A groundbreaking was held Wednesday morning, with dignitaries on hand like former Congressmember John Katko, who helped secure a $2 million federal grant for the nearly 34,000-foot addition. During his time in office, Katko supported the Food Bank’s efforts to combat food insecurity and poverty throughout the region.

“It's a sad reality that in central New York, we have some of the highest pockets of poverty in the country," said Katko at the groundbreaking. "And where would we be without this wonderful organization? Forty-one thousand meals a day, think about that. How many people are much better off because of this place and all of you who contributed in various ways?”

Katko is credited with having worked with Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in securing the federal money.

The expanded facility in VanBuren will accommodate more staff and volunteers — and food. Up to an additional million pounds of food at any given time, say organizers.

Food Bank Executive Director Karen Belcher called the expansion "transformational for the services that we're able to provide to the community. But most importantly, it'll create a greater impact for our neighbors who are facing food insecurity. And that's our goal, to help our neighbors who are facing food insecurity."     

The expansion is part of the plan the Food Bank of CNY has made that will be in constant works through 2027. For more information on the expansion plans, visit the Food Bank of CNY website.

Morgan Caviness is an undergraduate student who just earned her associates degree at Onondaga Community College for Broadcast Media and Communications and plans to continue studying Broadcast and Mass Communication at SUNY Oswego where she is expected to graduate May of 2025. As a student contributor at WAER, Morgan helps produce digital radio stories.