FDN Celebrates 35 Years!

Come and celebrate FDN’s 35th anniversary on September 14th!

Friendship Donations Network will celebrate its 35th anniversary from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Ithaca Farmers Market with food, awards, games, a free raffle, and an FDN song composed by Ithaca’s Jan Nigro. This is the first time in years that we will have FDN volunteers, food distribution partners, and food donors all together. What a great chance to build and strengthen these critical connections.

FDN’s volunteers, partners, donors and the community are all invited to this free event that marks a milestone in our 35 years. Sara Pines founded the organization in 1988 and recruited its first volunteers to collect unsaleable, but still-good food from local supermarkets and local growers, so it would be redistributed to food pantries and food-relief programs. 

Over the years, Sara’s efforts have grown to include nearly 100 volunteers who pick up and distribute food every day in partnership with 50 food distribution partners in Tompkins and surrounding counties. Each week their efforts provide over 2,000 people with nutritious food and divert over 1,000 pounds of good food from heading to a landfill every day. 

The 35th Anniversary party will honor the admirable efforts of our volunteers and food distribution partners, the support of our food donors at stores, institutional food programs, farms and food producers and the generosity of our financial donors. The 2-hour party will be an opportunity to meet the food distribution partners, volunteers, food donors and supporters who are the heart and soul of FDN.

Look for some special attractions at the party, including:

  • Handmade appreciation potholders created by volunteers in partnership with the Community Quilting Center (for the 1st 100 households).
  • A sing-along of a special FDN song written and performed by Jan Nigro.
  • Free Raffle with food-themed prizes.
  • Informational displays of food use-by dating, the new NYS Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law, and more.
  • Booths hosted by 25 of FDN’s community partners.
  • Tompkins County Legislature proclaims September 14, 2023, as Friendship Donations Network Day in celebration of 35 years
  • Garden Harvest Swap – bring your garden veggies to share and/or take some home!


FDN’s 35th Anniversary Party

Thursday, Sept. 14, 5-7 p.m.

Ithaca Farmers Market

545 3rd St., Ithaca