The Tioga County Hunger Coalition is working to end hunger and needs your help. Coalition members are food pantries, meal sites, soup kitchens and others are helping on an ongoing basis in these hard times, instead of helping just for emergencies. Area programs report an increase in the working poor and seniors coming for food. The lack of jobs, low wages and high housing costs are the three biggest reasons households are forced to seek emergency food.
Please make donations to your local pantry, and remember that one in five children are food insecure, meaning that there is not enough adequate food at times. Most pantries in Tioga County are run by volunteers, who are mostly seniors, so please donate your time and meet amazing people while helping out your neighbor in distress.
Food pantries in Tioga County include Catholic Charities, serving any Tioga County resident in Nichols; Park Terrace Methodist Church, Apalachin; First Congregational Church, Berkshire; Bread of Life, Candor; Lounsberry United Methodist Church, Lounsberry; Newark Valley First United Methodist Church, Newark Valley; the Open Door Mission, Owego; Tioga County Rural Ministry, Owego; Spencer Federated Church, Spencer; and the Valley Food Pantry in Waverly.
Meal sites are run by the First United Methodist Church, Nichols United Methodist Church, McKendree United Methodist Church, Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick Parish, Newark Valley United Methodist Church, St. James, Waverly, Waverly First Presbyterian Church, and Waverly Methodist Church.
Other helping programs are Catholic Charities, helping enroll SNAP applicants and conducting nutrition education; the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, providing mobile food pantries, discounted and free foods to pantries, the Backpack program (providing food for school children on the weekends), nutrition and advocacy education programs and more; CHOW for children, delivering food packages; Cooperative Extension, nutrition education; Farmer’s Markets; and Tioga United Way and Tioga Opportunities Inc. (TOI), helping pantries apply for food grants.
TOI has food drives to distribute food to pantries, and provides senior meals at their site and through Meals on Wheels; Seniors Farmer’s Market coupons; WIC, which helps pregnant women and young families; and school breakfast and lunch programs.
For Hunger Action Month, Catholic Charities has food collection bins out now at Sweeney’s Market, Spencer Shurfine, Bostwick’s Auction, Hollenbeck’s, Price Chopper in Owego, the Department of Social Service, the Tioga County Legislative Office Building, TOPS in Sayre, and the Tioga Center School District is helping again with the price of admission to their football game on Sept. 19 being a food item; and Candor School is also helping with the price of admission to their football game on Sept. 26 being a food item. One can make a difference with one can or box of food.