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December 6, 2012

For gift-giving, think of the food bank

Cooperstown Crier

---- — The Cooperstown Food Bank is serving more people than ever.

According to co-director Audrey Murray, the food bank serves an average of 200 families each month. It has experienced a five percent increase over last year and almost double the number since 2007 when the average was 109 families.

At the same time, Murray says donations are down along with the bank account.

“I really don’t know why. I don’t have a figure, but our bank account is lower than it has ever been at this time of year,” she said. 

November and December are typically the busiest months of the year for the Cooperstown Food Bank, according to Murray. She said many families are hit with heating costs this time of year, having to fill their oil tanks for the first time. The holidays can add additional financial pressures, and gas prices are still high.

The food bank already receives widespread support in the community from many individuals and organizations, but the need is greater than ever.

While many people will be enjoying a happy, bountiful holiday season, there are numerous families in Otsego County that are not so lucky. 

We would like to suggest that people put the food bank on their list when it comes gift-giving this year. It could be the purchase of a bag of groceries for the food bank. Or it could be a cash donation, and there is no better time than this month to make that donation.

Murray said the Scriven Foundation is offering a matching grant for December. This is the fourth year the foundation has matched dollar-for-dollar donations to the pantry up to a total grant of $5,000. 

The grant means that donors can double the amount of their donation when the match from the Scriven Foundation is included.

Tax-deductible donations may be mailed to The Cooperstown Food Pantry, 25 Church St., Cooperstown, NY 13326, or dropped off in person when the food bank is open.

For those whose budget does not allow for a donation of food or money, there is always the opportunity to volunteer some time to help out.