JOHNSON CITY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Local leaders and officials are working to make sure nobody goes hungry this holiday season.

For the first time since the pandemic, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier held its Broome County Holiday Legislative Repack event

Local legislators and community leaders filled and distributed packs of food for needy kids to help feed them and their families on weekends and over holidays.

The event took place at Johnson City High School, and began with a tour of the school’s on-site food center.

The Food Bank provided festive, holiday headwear so the volunteers could get in the spirit of giving.

Community Schools Coordinator at Johnson City School District Andrea Hankey said, “We really wanted to have an environment where people do not feel stigmatized, they don’t feel embarrassed that it’s a very welcoming environment. It could be that you need to come here every week, it could be that you’re having a rough month and you just need some extra support. So, we wanted to have the opportunity and availability for everyone.”

The Food Bank said that almost 14% of Broome County residents are food insecure, and that one in four children are at risk of hunger.

The organization said that more than 840 children participated in the Back Pack event.

The Wildcat Food and Clothing Center invites families of JC students and staff to stop in the high school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 to 1 to stock up on food and clothing.