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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Reed hears concerns of pantry leaders, clientele

  • U.S. Rep. Tom Reed recently visited the Corning Community Food Pantry to speak with the pantry’s leaders and clientele about their priorities and concerns.

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  • U.S. Rep. Tom Reed recently visited the Corning Community Food Pantry to speak with the pantry’s leaders and clientele about their priorities and concerns.
    “What I heard from food pantry volunteers was a desire to include more training opportunities in social services programs to move people toward jobs that are available,” Reed, R-Corning, said. “The goal is not for these food pantries to be something families rely on, but rather a helping hand as they get the skill sets necessary to find employment and get themselves back on sound financial ground.”
    The food pantry partners with Catholic Charities of Steuben County to offer additional services, including clothing, a lending library, nutritional information and assistance with shelter and financial planning.
    “The essential services provided here to local residents go far beyond fighting hunger,” Reed said. “The Corning Community Food Pantry provides a real opportunity for the most vulnerable in our community to get the care they need and a fair shot at self-sufficiency. With prices rising on many of the things we depend on daily, our seniors are feeling the impact particularly hard, seeing their medical expenses, utilities and grocery bills increase while at the same time seeing low returns on their retirement  savings.”
    In order for facilities like the food pantry to continue providing services for those most in need, accountability measures are needed to ensure resources are being used efficiently and effectively, Reed said.
    “The food pantry, its dedicated volunteers and all those who have donated strengthen families and support communities,” Reed said. “When our neighbors are facing tough times, the entire community steps up to positively impact their lives. Whether that means food, a monetary donation or their valuable time, the local community understands that we need to care for everyone in our community so that we can make it better.”
    The food pantry has seen an increase in number of residents served – from serving nearly 7,000 people in 1999 to almost 25,000 in 2012. The increase is due to the expansion of the food pantry and the 2008 economic downturn, Reed said.
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