FDN Partners in their own words, Fall 2021

Christa Núñez, Quarter Acre for the People:

The Quarter Acre for the People project considers FDN to be a crucial partner in our short term goal of getting healthy food delivered to our participants who need support in accessing consistent amounts of high quality food for their families. Children and families not only need land for building safe and ecologically-sound homes on and seeds to grow their own food with, but they need good nutrition all along the way. FDN supports them in this basic human need as they develop their skills and become more empowered players in the food system. 

Ricardo Escobedo, Opportunities, Alternatives & Resources (OAR) of Tompkins County:

For over 5 years, OAR has been partnered with FDN distributing fresh fruits and vegetables along with ready to eat items to those in need in Tompkins County. To put it in perspective, this year alone OAR has distributed food to approximately 62 clients and their families each month since June of 2021. Being able to provide fresh food to those who are hungry is a humbling experience that leaves not only a smile on my face but also on our clients. 

Pat Walp, Bread of Life Food Pantry:

We are the Bread of Life Food Pantry that serves residents who live in the Candor School District. Because of our affiliation with FDN, we are able to provide fresh fruits, vegetables, hearty grain breads, and milk on a weekly basis. We also receive food from Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Mexican and other cultures, that our users might not normally try, but have discovered that they like them. We really appreciate what the FDN is able to obtain for us and other meal sites and pantries.

Michaela Cortright, Catholic Charities, Deputy Director & Samaritan Center Director:

FDN has been an invaluable resource for Catholic Charities programs.  Thanks to this unique program we have been to provide supplemental food for residents in our women’s transitional housing program.  FDN has always very kind and consistent with communication and sends regular email notifications about the specific types of food that are fresh and available.  Their hours are flexible, and the location is convenient.  This is particularly helpful for staff with busy schedules trying to meet the different needs of multiple residents and different programs. The FDN leadership have always been willing to arrange for quick pickups for our staff as needed. For example, there are circumstances where we have hungry residents waiting for food stamp cases to become active, or perhaps did not qualify, or even just stretching their paychecks so thin that they need help between paychecks. Catholic Charities staff pick up items to keep our residential kitchen full of options to share. Additionally, there are often special little cakes and pastries available that would otherwise be considered too expensive or too extravagant for low-income budgets.  This is a wonderful treat in those cases!   

During our years of involvement, we have also participated in distributing occasional overflow crops that come in from local farms. This has been particularly wonderful for some of our clients in the Immigrations Services Program.  Many of our clients have big families and an even bigger close-knit community, so having the opportunity to receive boxes overflowing with fresh items such as radishes, cabbage, daikon, tomatoes, or carrots that can be pickled or stored for a long time are a welcome gift to keep large families and communities fed.  During Covid 2020, most people had to stay home and could only send one person per household out into the community.  Many were too scared and/or unable to go to grocery stores themselves.  FDN offered an organized and safe way for us to get them some of the help that they badly needed.   We hope to partner with FDN for many more years!  

Click here to read more testimony from FDN food distribution partners!