July 23, 2010

NYSUT's Local Action Project fills food pantry shelves

Source: NYSUT News Wire


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Twenty-one locals from across the state brought hope to the Franklin Community Center in Saratoga Springs Thursday.

"I was thrilled to see what was on top of the table and then they showed me the boxes and boxes underneath," Jaime Williams told the Local Action Project participants. "This will make a huge difference to a lot of people."

NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue noted that the 21 local unions, from Alexandria and Ogdensburg in the north country to Buffalo and Freeport on Long Island, all support the needy in their own communities.

"Here in the Saratoga community the need for food takes on a significant shift in the summer," Donahue said, noting that besides the center serving many more childen when school is not in session, the race track season shifts dynamics in the area for six weeks.

Williams noted that since June, the food bank has served 1,900 people and is now seeing a number of track workers coming to the pantry for help.

In addition to nearly 50 boxes of food, the center also received a $200 donation from the Schoharie Teachers Association, led by Martin Messner.

"We're in a rural community too and we know the needs families have during the summer," Messner said.

NYSUT's Local Action Project, started in 1994, brings together teams to exchange ideas on political action, community outreach and union activism.