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New food pantry opens for distribution by appointment in Binghamton

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Food Pantry

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton helps to feed the hungry year-round.

"There is a big homeless and a big population that is hungry in this area," said the church's kitchen coordinator Sherry Conklin.

But its services are now of increasing importance.

"We just know everybody is shut in right now and there's going to be a big need for food with everybody laid off and a lot of people without work," said Conklin.

With a pandemic impacting the whole globe, church leaders knew they had to step up in this time of need.

"I was within sight of the towers when they fell at 9/11 and I was in a community that had 13 feet of water go through it during Hurricane Sandy. So I know one of the first things that happens is that the access to food sources gets cut off," said pastor Kimberly Chastain.

That's why United Presbyterian has created a brand new food pantry, up and running starting Wednesday.

The church receives a lot of its supply from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, but it also asks for donations.

"The best things are soups, chunky soups, easy canned meals like beef stew or something like that. Another thing that we would really like is metal can openers because some people in the area don't even have can openers," said Conklin.

Working to keep a community fed, and full of faith.

"We hope that the wonderful outpouring we've seen in the community so far will continue because it's not over yet," said Chastain.

"It's just wonderful that everybody is stepping up," said Conklin.

The pantry works by appointment to avoid having large crowds gather.

If you need food you can reach out to the church or send an email to

United Presbyterian also serves free meals for takeout every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Annie Flaherty

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