October 18, 2021

Food distribution in Homer helps support those in need

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Sean Brown, left, and another Homer wrestling student load up a car with boxes of food Thursday at Durkee Memorial Park in Homer. The students were helping out during a food giveaway hosted by the Food Bank of Central New York in partnership with the United Way for Cortland County.

Nancy Thompson of Homer loaded up her car Thursday with boxes of food at Durkee Memorial Park in Homer: 10 boxes, but not for her.

These were to be distributed to people in need of food who couldn’t make it to the food giveaway hosted by the Food Bank of Central New York in partnership with the United Way for Cortland County.

“A lot of people are hungry, but they don’t have transportation,” she said.

Thompson was one of many taking boxes of food as cars lined up from North Main Street to Rob San Drive about 750 yards.

People would drive into the parking lot of Durkee Park while members of the Homer High School wrestling team loaded trunks or back seats with boxes of food and bags of apples.

The wrestlers were volunteering as part of a community service project, said head coach Jason Reynolds.

The boxes included milk, cheese and meat, said Christella Yonta, the executive director for the United Way of Cortland County.

About 400 boxes were to be given away.

Drives like this, Yonta said, were meant to help bridge the gap for people.

“It’s kind of like, ‘Thank you, this is going to help me with a couple meals to last to Friday,’” she said.

Next drive:
What: Food distribution
When: 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Marathon High School, Marathon
By: United Way of Cortland County and Food Bank of Central New York.

Thompson said she was picking up for people as part of Cortland County Mutual Aid, which helps support individuals and their needs, according to the group’s Facebook page. It stocks kiosks around Cortland with food.

“I think it’s amazing that they’re offering this food when we’re in such a difficult situation in our world right now,” she said, noting the kiosks frequently are empty an hour after being stocked. “But it’s actually a little mind boggling there are so many hungry people.”

Thompson said she had to wait in line for 15 minutes.

“There are so many hungry people in our county that so many of us are not aware of,” she said.

Heather Neadom of Homer appreciated the drive.

“I think it’s pretty special that they’re able to do this for the community and help out in these hard times,” she said. Neadom came by after she saw the signs for the drive and was interested in getting fresh food.