BINGHAMTON, NY – As part of our month-long commitment to supporting Feeding America, we’re profiling some local organizations on the front lines of fighting hunger.
We begin at the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse in Binghamton, better known as CHOW.
CHOW is a program of the Broome County Council of Churches and supplies over 100 food pantries in our area, most of them located within local churches.
It gets food supplies from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier which is a member of the Feeding America network.
CHOW Director Les Aylesworth says the demand for food has remained at about 10 percent more than before the pandemic.
He says CHOW is there for people when there’s too much month at the end of the money.
“We want to stand in that gap to support people. Because it’s not for us, it’s not a hand out, it’s a hand up. We want to be able to see people lift out of their situation and we do our small part in the area of food,” says Aylesworth.
Prior to the pandemic, CHOW also received a significant amount of non-perishable food directly from the community through food drives and the familiar blue donation barrels.
However, direct food donations remain down by 82 percent this year due to ongoing pandemic restrictions and fears.
Aylesworth says the community has been stepping up with larger monetary donations as CHOW adapts to a new food insecurity landscape.
The CHOW Hunger Walk will be held as a virtual event again this year with a goal of raising 10 thousand dollars between October 1st and 9th.
Last year’s virtual walk brought in 25 grand, the largest total for the event in recent memory.
For more information, go to BroomeCouncil.net/CHOW.