FDN turns donation into food for community members

For release: May 27, 2020

A $4,600 donation to Friendship Donations Network (FDN) from DiBella’s Subs in Ithaca provided Tompkins residents with produce and healthy pantry staples from local farms and local food distributors.

The donation to FDN is part of DiBella’s support for not-for-profit organizations in the communities where the Rochester-based firm operates. FDN used the donation to partner with Healthy Food for All and PressBay Food Transfer Hub, to coordinate deliveries of 100 boxes of food to local households – regardless of income – and to provide additional free food to walk-up recipients at the PressBay Friendship food pantry in downtown Ithaca.

Each box contained organic, locally grown spinach, salad greens, radishes, onions, carrots and apples. Cheese from Lively Run Dairy Farm in Interlaken, eggs from Fort Baptist Farm and Straw Pocket Farm, both in Tompkins County; butter from Cabot Farm Creamery and organic, regionally produced oats, quinoa and pinto beans were also available. Additional food was offered to those in need on May 11 at the Press Bay Food Transfer Hub in Ithaca. Surplus food was delivered later that day to Healthy Tuesdays in Groton, a local food pantry. DiBella’s also offered to provide lunch for the food distribution team and that offer was donated to the staff at St. John’s Community Services.

While the food was available without charge, some recipients chose to pay what they could. All the money received will be used to purchase additional food for the next round of distribution. Liz Karabinakis, Healthy Food for All director, has been receiving an outpouring of gratitude from people who received the boxes. Food distribution coordinators from Healthy Food for All, PressBay Food Transfer Hub and FDN plan to continue the effort on a weekly or semi-monthly schedule. For more information on future distributions, contact 607-272-2292 x242 or info@healthyfoodforall.org. To donate to support future distributions to food insecure community members visit http://www.healthyfoodforall.org/donate/.

FDN has been rescuing surplus food and redistributing it to local community programs since 1988. The local cooperative extension Healthy Food for All program formed in 2006 to make fresh, quality produce accessible to low-income families through Community Supported Agriculture shares and educational resources.