One in eight people in our country is food insecure which means they don't know where their next meal will come from.
The Food Bank of Central New York is raising awareness and getting the community involved in hunger action month. It seems like it's a real issue in Central New York. Over 170,000 residents in our area live below the poverty level who struggle to put food on the table for their families.
One food pantry says the demand for services has been greater than ever. Kathleen Nicotera of Grace Church in Utica says the demand for food is like a cycle.
"In the first part of the month everyone has food stamps and in the last part of the month they don't. That is why we get more business after the 15th of the month," said Nicotera.
One of the mission's for Grace Church is to keep the St. Margaret's food pantry up and running for the community.
Kathleen say the number of people using the pantry has doubled. She says families with children and the elderly are what she calls their regulars.
"If a husband and wife work and they don't make enough money to support themselves, so they come here to get them through the month," said Nicotera.
St. Margaret's says they provide food for people in emergency circumstances which means they provide three meals a day for three days, once a month.
"If you have one person this is what they should get or if you have two, three, or four, that's what they should get. The CNY food bank gave us a list of what we should provide," said Nicotera.
St. Margaret's food pantry has a partnership with the food bank of Central New York.
Kathleen says they pay to get a monthly shipment from the food bank as well as receive donations, especially during the holidays. But, she says as the demand for food goes up so do the donations to keep up with it.
"The holidays last for a month, but they're still hungry after," explained Nicotera.
St. Margaret's Food Pantry has been serving the community for 18 years now. They're open five days a week, but you have to live within their district to get access.