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Food Bank Meeting Addresses How to Help Solve Hunger

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier hosted its annual conference.
The Food Bank of the Southern Tier hosted its annual conference today.

It brought together representatives from the 162 agencies that it helps support across six counties, including Broome and Tioga. Two of the goals of the event are to share hunger fighting strategies and raise awareness of the problem.

Binghamton City Councilwoman Lea Webb was the keynote speaker. She says hunger has many faces, including working professionals and homeowners.

Often times hunger carries a stigma, which needs to be broken.

"Part of it requires us to look at systems that we have in place, looking at our economy, what are types of jobs that we have that can provide people with more than just a minimum wage, for example a living wage, to be able to allow people to continue to participate in our local economy and strengthen it," said Webb.

Natasha Thompson is the president and CEO of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. She explained one of the challenges that many pantries will face.

"I think one of the biggest challenges is that the average food pantry volunteer is a 75 year-old female and we're very concerned about sustainability of these programs. For a lot of folks, they rely on the pantries and their communities to help bridge that gap between being able to stretch their dollar and not," said Thompson.

For more information about how to help fight hunger, go to FoodBankST.org.
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