How the Food Bank Works

Food Acquisition:

Food Bank of Central New York is committed to providing a wide variety of nutritious food. We are able to complement donated food with food we purchase for our inventory. Due to our vendor agreements, we are able to purchase large amounts of high-demand foods and offer them to our partner agencies at cost. The Food Bank maintains an inventory of 100 core food items available to programs at all times.

We rely on food donations from food manufacturers, grocers, wholesalers, local farmers, businesses, and individuals to supplement our food inventory. These donations help stretch our partner agencies’ food budgets and enhance their inventories.

Additionally, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides commodity foods, meats, vegetables, and fruits to the Food Bank for the emergency food programs.

Food Distribution:

Our food distribution center is 74,000 square feet: 25,000 square feet for refrigerated/frozen foods and 36,000 square feet for dry goods. Our transportation staff make door to door deliveries to the emergency food network Monday through Friday within our 11 county service area: Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and St. Lawrence.

Community Impact:

The core of our work is achieved by partnering with our local member agencies that distribute food to families in need. The key partners that make up our emergency food network are food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters. Other not-for-profit agencies such as daycare centers, rehabilitation centers, senior centers, and group homes are able to utilize membership as a way to supplement their agency food needs.