Local pantry in need of donations

Center Director, Ellie DiScioscia stands in front of empty shelves at the Gloversville Senior Center on a Wednesday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

GLOVERSVILLE — The food pantry at the Senior Citizen Service Center of Gloversville & Fulton County currently is almost empty and is in need to donations.

Ellie DiScioscia, the director of the center at 53 Church St., thinks the food pantry at the senior center is becoming empty because the word is getting out and more people are aware of the food pantry.

“[The food pantry’s] been getting smaller and smaller,” DiScioscia said.

An average of one to two people a day go to the center. DiScioscia said three people showed up on Wednesday.

DiScioscia said since last summer, she has seen an increase in the number of seniors who use the food pantry.

“They need the help,” DiScioscia said.

The food pantry at the senior center does not have funding or a grant to keep it stocked, relying on donations.

DiScioscia said the food pantry is in desperate need of donations such as items that are easy to open and don’t require the use of pots and pans. These items can include cans of vegetables, tunafish, ravioli’s.

“Anything they can just open and eat,” said DiScoscia.

She said one of the reasons they prefer to stock ready-to-eat food items is that some seniors might not have the availability to pots or pans, or they might have health limitations that prevent them from being able to bend down to reach for the pots and pans.

DiScioscia said Eat Smart New York goes to the senior center to give demonstrations on how to prepare well-balanced meals without a lot of preparation.

According to the the Eat Smart New York website, they are a free program to anyone who qualifies for or receives benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

According to their website, ESNY provides nutrition education materials, sponsors education events and gives classes in local communities on various nutrition topics.

DiScioscia said they also try to give out food that is left over from meal day.

The Senior Citizen Service Center have meal days on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Tuesday, the center has breakfast at 9:30 a.m. On Wednesdays, they have lunch at noon. And every Saturday they do breakfast at 9 a.m. DiScioscia said the center also gives out meals on holidays, but are closed on Christmas. The center always does a Thanksgiving breakfast.

“We are open on Labor Day giving out free coffee and danishes,” DiScioscia said.

DiScioscia said she also tells visitors of other local food pantries and soup kitchens they can use including the Salvation Army of Gloversville, Foothills United Methodist Church in Gloversville, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnstown, First Free Methodist Church in Gloversville and First Presbyterian Church in Johnstown.

By Patricia Older

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