"We sing to feed them all, the family in need.
We sing to answer every prayer a mother cannot heed.
We sing to touch the noble heart and raise the siren's call.
We sing to feed each hungry child.
We sing to feed them all."
Shakespeare said "the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give your gift away."
Our gift is singing and performing and we are dedicated to using our music to make life better here in our community of Central New York with a main focus on providing food to our neighbors in need.
Using our gifts we raise awareness (the siren's call) and funds to actually Feed our neighbors. We support the Food Bank of Central New York and the many Food Pantries that distribute the much needed sustenance to people in need.
The Harmony Katz have raised over $26,000 for the Food Bank of CNY over the past six years.
Two Annual Shows and many Performances around Central New York with proceeds going to the Food Bank of CNY.
Utilizing our 2018 Annual show for the Food Bank, the Harmony Katz family of Choruses were able to help raise funds and awareness for those frontline organizations that deliver hope to the hungry everyday.
The Harmony Katz provide not only a show but help support the Food Pantries with providing printed tickets, show posters and programs.
Food Pantries secure a venue, sell tickets, possibly host a dinner (dinner & a show) sell ads for the program, raffle baskets, 50-50 raffles and more. We're proud to say that in 2019 we helped raise $18,860.00 for local Food Pantries through this program. (WOW!)
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
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 eleven county service area: Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and St. Lawrence.
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.
The Difference... and the Partnership!
Food banks are often times mistaken for food pantries. Unlike pantries, most food banks do not distribute food directly to the public. A food bank is a warehouse and distribution center where food is solicited, received, inventoried, and then distributed to local pantries and soup kitchens.
A pantry is a charity that distributes food and grocery products directly to those in need. Pantries have the responsibility to seek out and help individuals and families receive food. Food banks act as the supply line and are responsible for ensuring that their member pantries have the resources they need to feed those seeking help.
Food Bank of Central New York is a 74,000 square foot warehouse and office space where we acquire and accommodate large quantities of food purchased at bulk or wholesale prices. This allows us to resell food to our partner agencies at cost, which is about three times cheaper than retail price. The Food Bank services 443 programs including 280 emergency food programs across eleven counties in central and northern New York.
The Food Bank also provides direct services to clients through programs such as Fresh Foods, Food $en$e, Kids Cafe, and Summer Food Service. In addition, we also engage in community outreach through SNAP that not only feeds hungry people but helps give them the building blocks to break the cycle of poverty.
Food banks and food pantries are not the same but they are partners that share the same commitment: helping to feed the hungry.
The face of hunger has shifted from what once was the homeless man who used a soup kitchen to get by to working families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet.
Food insecurity refers to the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) measure of lack of access to enough nutritionally adequate foods for an active, healthy lifestyle for all household members. Food insecurity is not exclusively a trait of the poverty stricken. Hunger and poverty often go hand in hand but poverty is not the ultimate determinant of food insecurity. Food insecurity may reflect a working households need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.
In the summer of 2017 Food Bank of Central New York conducted a follow-up study to understand who accessed emergency food agencies in our service area and why. The 348 interviews consisted of households, selected at random, who utilized one of the Food Bank's food pantries or soup kitchens.
We’ve developed the following results to bring awareness regarding who is hungry and the challenges they face. This enables us to collectively identify solutions to better address the growing problem of food insecurity as a community.
Among the thousands of people who depend on charitable food programs in central and northern New York:
· 29% are children 18 or younger
· 16% of households include an active member or veteran of the military
· 43% of households have had to choose between paying for food or paying for day to day expenses (medicine/medical care, utilities, rent/mortgage or transportation/fuel)
· 60% of households have an annual income below $18,000
Read the full report by requesting a copy of Food Bank of Central New York's 2017 Hunger Assessment
[i] Feeding America: Poverty and Hunger in America, 2016.
[ii] Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap, Find a Food Bank; Food Bank of Central New York, 2017
is food insecure in central and northern New York. Chronic hunger, although harmful to all people, is particularly devastating to our most vulnerable population: children.
Research has shown that childhood food insecurity is connected to a large number of developmental delays or deficiencies in school-aged children including physical, psychological, and behavioral health issues. Conditions linked to childhood food insecurity include:
[i] Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, William McFall and Mark Nord. Food Insecurity in Households With Children: Prevalence, Severity, and Household Characteristics, 2010-11, EIB-113, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May 2013
age 60 and older face food insecurity. Seniors face a number of unique medical and mobility challenges that put them at a greater risk of food insecurity. After a lifetime of hard work, many find themselves struggling with health issues on fixed incomes. Many of these individuals are forced to choose between paying for groceries and buying medicine.
Learn more about the senior hunger research carried out by Feeding America.