October 18, 2021

Boys donate food to charity

Agencies prepare for Thanksgiving meals

S.N. Briere/ staff reporter

Crystal Cornelius, a volunteer with Loaves and Fishes in Cortland County, checks a pizza Friday evening to make sure it’s done. The agency has contiued to give out meals during the pandemic and is preparing for its annual Thanksgiving dinner.

Jessica Daily can’t be more proud of her son and her neighbor’s two boys for going around their neighborhood in Cortlandville and collecting food to donate to Loaves and Fishes.

“It was nice for them to see the generosity of their neighbors,” Daily said Friday outside of Loaves and Fishes, a soup kitchen and food program on Court Street in Cortland. “It was a bright spot in the midst of all the challenges of 2020.”

Daily had both her son Rahmon, 11, and her neighbor’s son Patrick White, 9, with her.

S.N. Briere/staff reporter

Rahmon Daily, 11, left, and Patrick White, 9, stand outside Loaves and Fishes Friday evening. The two children, along with Caleb White, 6, collected food for the agency.

Rahmon Daily, Patrick White and Caleb White, 6, went around their Lamont Circle neighborhood asking neighbors over a few days around Halloween weekend to donate canned goods and other food.

“We were just playing around and Rahmon came up with the idea,” Patrick White said.

Jessica Daily said the kids originally had wanted to collect bottles and cans, but then turned to collecting food and were very excited about doing, noting they ran to their houses, got their bikes and headed out into the neighborhood.

They collected 50 items, Daily said, a goal Rahmon Daily had set. There were lots of cans of soup and vegetables, some canned salmon and tuna, even some cereal.

Jessica Daily said the food was taken to Loaves and Fishes around Election Day.

To donate

  • Drop off from 7 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays, or 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays at Loaves and Fishes, the back entrance of Grace and Holy Spirit Church, 13 Court St., Cortland.
  • Call to make arrangements at 607-756-6195

To get a meal

  • Loaves and Fishes: 4 p.m. Friday, back entrance of Grace and Holy Spirit Church, 13 Court St., Cortland.

Hunger has nearly tripled in the greater Cortland area since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in March. The Food Bank of Central New York has seen a 186% increase between March 1 to Sept. 30, compared to last year’s numbers. In 2020, the food bank distributed 823,325 pounds of food. In 2019, it distributed 287,875 pounds.

Loaves and Fishes has continued serving people throughout the coronavirus pandemic. While it serves six days a week, it’s also preparing for its annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

This year, that dinner will happen a little differently due to the pandemic, said Executive Director Kim Hill. Instead of sitting down to eat, people will get takeout boxes.

One container will be for hot food, the other cold.

“The cold will have their pie, rolls and fruit and the hot will have their big meal,” she said.

Anyone can get a meal, she said; the kitchen has plenty of food, should many people show up.

Another 108 families will get Thanksgiving assistance that includes receiving a turkey or a package of food items through the Food Sense program offered by the Food Bank of Central New York, said Joanne Brown-Garringer, the executive director.