ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Every month, 18 News honors one local non-profit organization as the Non-Profit Organization of the Month. 18 News selects the recipient by nominations sent from the Twin Tiers Community.
For the month of September, 18 News is honoring the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.
“We’re very humble by the award,” said Matt Griffin, Director of Health and Nutrition of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. “So many people created this ability and this recognition and we thank them for helping us be recognized.”
The organization has been serving the Southern Tier community for over 30 years.
“The food bank has been in existence since 1981, in various locations in the Southern Tier,” Griffin said. “Our goal is to provide emergency food relief to people who are food insecure in the six counties in the Southern Tier.”
The food bank provides around 12 million pounds to Broome, Tioga, Tompkins, Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben County. Griffin said this year, numbers are expected to be higher because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many members in the community became jobless when businesses began shutting down, following the governors orders. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier was still there to help those in need, amid the pandemic.
“We had to re-adjust the way we distribute food,” Griffin said. “First and foremost, the start of community food distributions where we’ve been able to distribute perishable food mainly through a drive through methodology reaching up to 500 households.”
When accepting the award, Griffin told 18 News the organization wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of the community.
“We’ve had community support both in terms of financial support, volunteer support, morale,” Griffin said. “We could not do the community food distribution without the help of volunteers. We were also able to start emergency food hubs in our counties, all thanks to our volunteers.”
Even amid a pandemic and financial difficulties, Southern Tier community members stepped up to help the food bank help those in dire need.
“Early on in COVID-19, we were able to bring in volunteers to pack shelf stable products which were then give to school districts giving out food and also helping make deliveries to home bound and quarantine individuals,” Griffin said, as he thanked all the hard working volunteers.
“Your support is helping make a difference. Helping seniors who need help during this time, families, kids going back to school, a lot of people are in need and through the help of folks donating their time and volunteer hours we’re able to make a difference and respond to that need.”
September is Hunger Action Month, be sure to check with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier for events throughout the month.
Also, if you would like to volunteer at the organization, you can do so by clicking here.
If you would like to nominate a non-profit for next month’s Non-Profit Organization of the Month, you can place your nominations here on our website.
WETM Non-Profit Spotlight is sponsored By Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield