Food Bank of Central New York

John Smith / WAER-FM 88.3

Central New Yorkers are in the midst of a transition to reusable shopping bags after the state law that bans single-use plastic bags went into effect Sunday. The Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC, has teamed up with Food Bank of Central New York to ensure reusable bags are accessible to everyone, regardless of income.

Trump's Decision to Cut SNAP Benefits to Affect Many Central New Yorkers

Dec 6, 2019
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Many Central New Yorkers will be among the 85,000 people in the state affected by the Trump Administration’s recent decision to cut SNAP benefits for low-income residents.  Changes to the federal food assistance program include limiting the number of exemptions for applicants who cannot meet the program’s work requirements, leaving many without aid.

Officials at the Food Bank of Central New York are bracing for the worst if the partial government shutdown continues beyond the next couple weeks.  Right now, they have enough of a cushion to get them through a short-term interruption in food deliveries to their warehouse.

Cal Stewart / WAER News

This holiday season farmers from around New York State are giving the gift of food. The New York Farm Bureau announced on Tuesday that they donated more than 10,600,000 pounds of food this year through November, and dropped off another shipment to the Food Bank of Central New York. The food donation is the largest from state farmers in a single year, and translates to almost 9,000,000 meals for New Yorkers in need.

Tom Honan/LiveSpaceEntertainment

UPDATE: (9/19 @ 4:00 PM) CONCERT POSTPONED.  Live Space Entrtainment reports: Due to circumstances beyond our control, the September 22 Tom Chapin and the Chapin Sisters Food Bank Benefit Concert will be rescheduled.  A new date will be announced shortly.  Tickets will be honored at the rescheduled show or ticketholders can obtain a refund at point of purchase. Visit for updates.

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Food Bank of Central New York staff received food donations today – which is nothing rare.  But today’s shipment, says Goya Foods spokesperson Natalie Maniscalco,  totaled 34-thousand-500 pounds. 

“That’s about 25,000 meals.  So the products will be distributed in meals for the families to make a complete meal.  They’ll have rice, they’ll have beans, crackers, coconut water, canned vegetables, non-perishable foods.”

  An expansion in the eligibility of federal food benefits could help local families and elderly.  It might also boost the local economy – if people take advantage.

The big change in the SNAP program is raising the eligibility threshold to 150% of the federal poverty level.  Food Bank of Central New York Outreach Director Amalia Swan can see a significant impact on those struggling.


  The SEFCU credit union joined the holiday spirit handing out $50,000 to local charities.  Donations went to the Rescue Mission, Catholic Charities, Meals on Wheels the Samaritan Center and the Northeast Community Center and Food Bank of Central New York.  It was part of 250,000 donated to shelters and pantries statewide. 


volunteers sort containers of fruit on a wooden table
Food Bank of Central New York

The face of hunger is changing locally, according to an assessment completed by the Food Bank of Central New York.  The Food Bank recently wrapped up a survey of the scope of hunger in the region, and the results supported stories they’ve heard from their emergency food program partners.  Food Bank Executive Director Kathleen Stress says the picture of hunger has traditionally been a homeless man visiting a soup kitchen.  Now, she says it’s shifted, and it can be more present in your daily lives than you might expect: