Urgent Evoke

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Food Security Recon in Central Upstate New York

I have located the Food Bank of Central New York. It is located at 6970 Schuyler Road, in East Syracuse, New York. They have a website at www.foodbankcnv.org. I took a drive to the location and talked with some of the folks there, to gain a better understanding of our local needs, and how I might help.

I gathered quite a bit of information during my visit. There was information about the organization, and all sorts of helpful tips. They have a wall full of flyers. In addition to the food storage and coordination work that is done here, the location is also acting as a clearing house for information. For example, I picked up a bean shaped flyer that was produced by the US Dry Bean Council, titled "Cooking With Beans is Quick, Easy, Tasty, & Nutritious!". I still have fliers that I haven't read through yet. However, it is clear there is a local need for improved Food Security.

Despite the great wealth of the United States, there are 25 Million Americans relying on emergency food assistance. Thousands of people in Central Upstate New York are dependent upon charitable food programs. While it is surely a blessing that people in need can find nutritious food, food hand-outs may not be sustainable in the long run.

The Food Bank of Central New York also has Community Food Security Initiatives, which promote self-sufficiency for those individuals relying on the emergency food network. I'm looking forward to getting some hands on experience with the "container gardens" that they are distributing to low-income individuals. I hope this is something that I'll be able to use as a model to spread throughout my local community.

There are many different programs being run by the Food Bank of Central New York. I urge anyone in the area to investigate the opportunities to donate time, money, and/or food to this organization. I dropped off my business card, to see if my particular skill-set could be of use to this organization. I let the folks there know that I would be willing to donate time to act as a third party validation of their state of Information Security. I suspect I'll also reach out to my local Food Pantry.

Below, is a picture of my local Food Pantry, which I found on my way home from the Food Bank.

The Sullivan Food Pantry is in operation the first and last Saturdays from 10AM until 1 PM local time, as noted in the picture below.

What I found the most amazing during my recon operation, and in learning about the number people dependent upon emergency food sources in Central Upstate New York, was that we could have so many in need of emergency food sources amidst all of the farms in our area. Most of Central New York is farm land. My neighbors are farmers, both produce and dairy. There are farms almost everywhere I drive. It would seem that so much of what is produced here is exported else-where (New York City is a huge market for much of the local produce and dairy).

This area seems ripe for sustainable gardens, no pun intended. ;)


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