ORWELL/WILLIAMSTOWN - A new food pantry has opened to help people living in the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown school district.
The pantry operates from 9 a.m.-noon the third Saturday of each month and provides non-perishable foods. It is at the Pine Meadows Wesleyan Church, 386 Pine Meadows Road, Orwell.
The Rev. David Sharkey said he came up with the idea for the pantry after seeing data about the needs of people living in the APW school district.
“We looked at some census and sales data and showed that there are people here with basic needs — and one of the greatest needs in the area is food,” he said.
People who come to the pantry will have to fill out a form. Sharkey said while he wants to run the pantry as a no barrier site, he said there are some qualifications people must meet due to the fact the pantry gets some of its food from the Food Bank of Central New York.
The pantry’s first food distribution was July 20.
There also is a fresh food distribution run by the Ranch of Hope Church at 528 State Route 13 in Williamstown. The Rev. Kevin Donahue said the fresh food giveaway is the first Friday of each month beginning at 3:30 p.m. People can come at 1 p.m. and draw a number for their position in line.
Donahue said the church serves an average of 95 families and provides fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy products, bread, and sometimes desserts through the state Food Bank. The church’s food distribution is open to all. Anyone with questions can call (315) 523-0085.