BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A perfect storm of factors is threatening to increase hunger in our area and leave food pantry shelves empty.

CHOW held a news conference today outside of its Binghamton warehouse to announce a critical community need for support.

Recent cuts in SNAP and WIC benefits due to the end of additional pandemic support are colliding with skyrocketing food prices due to inflation.

Organizers of Saint Michael’s Food Pantry and Showers of Hope say they are serving more working families and unfamiliar faces.

The Monday night meal at Saint Mike’s went from serving an average of 550 meals in January to 725 in March.

The Showers of Hope food pantry went from serving over 13 hundred families in January to over 1,900 in March.

CHOW Director Les Aylesworth says his organization is having to spend more money to purchase food.

“All of us are just one crisis away from being in a place of need, being food insecure. We’re encouraging people to take note of their community, to reach out to us and offer a donation to us or one of these great programs and ones that are around you, because I believe that together we can make a difference.”

Pantry officials say SNAP benefits have been cut back to 2015 levels and WIC payments have been trimmed by 20%.

You can help out by donating food to a local drive or pantry or by making a monetary donation at