Update – 09/24
Photos below provided by United Way for Cortland County:
Original post – 09/23
Today is United Way for Cortland County’s 25th annual “Day of Caring” and Wendy Thibeault Memorial Food Drive — and the community need has never been greater.
With the arrival of Covid-19, requests for food and personal supplies has multiplied, but collection has been difficult since boxes have been removed at many traditional outlets due to health/safety regulations.
Anyone who can is asked to help out by dropping off Food & Fundamentals at the Beaudry Park pavilion on Scammel Street between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm today. Volunteers will be on-hand to accept your donation; you don’t even need to leave your car.
A list of suggested food and supply items can be found on www.CortlandUnitedWay.org.
The drive helps stock over a dozen food pantries throughout the county.
This year, there’s a particular need for personal supplies, soap, baby supplies, and other items not normally stocked in food pantries
“With the arrival of Covid-19, the need for food and personal supplies has escalated,” said UWCC executive director Christella Yonta. “At the same time, food box distribution has been curtailed at many traditional outlets due to Covid regulations.”
Yonta explained that United Way is working with the Central New York Food Bank to provide pop-up food distributions in underserved areas of the county as part of their community effort.
The Food and Fundamentals drive is also a focus of this year’s Cortland County Board of Realtors golf outing.
Jarrod Kolodziejczyk, Director of Volunteers and Courtesy Services for Guthrie Cortland Medical and Board President, said: “United Way understands Cortland’s toughest challenges and works to bring people together to solve the issues. The food pop-ups will help to reach those who don’t have a food pantry nearby.”
This year’s campaign chair, Jenna Gregory, began volunteering as a student at Cortland High School for the Day of Caring and has served on the campaign committee. Gregory was also co-chair last year.
“The impact of United Way funded programs is everywhere. When the pandemic hit, United Way was a driving force in getting needed funds out to those serving the hardest hit, and that’s in addition to their year-round work,” Gregory said. “I’m excited to be a part of something that helps build a strong community.”
Last year, United Way funded 14 local programs supporting food, childcare, victim services and educational initiatives across the county.
This year, workplaces are participating in campaigns through both traditional and digital platforms to reflect how and where people work.
Businesses interested in running an employee giving campaign are encouraged to reach out for more information.