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Tioga County Rural Ministry helps those in need with food giveaway

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OWEGO (WBNG) -- Tioga County Rural Ministry held their annual August Free Food Giveaway at their headquarters in Owego on Saturday.

Sister Mary O'Brien calls the event a "win-win" for local families and farmers because the ministry uses grant money to buy fresh food directly from local farms which they then give away to families and individuals in need.

She said ministry normally chooses August because families have a higher need for food with children out of school for the summer.

This year she says the coronavirus pandemic added a new layer with many families finding themselves in need for the first time.

"They've never done this before, many are embarrassed," O'Brien said. "There's no embarrassment to this. In this climate that we're in right now, we all need one another and if we can help one another that's what we're about as a community."

The goal is to provide families with not just food, but fresh, healthy items to take home to their families.

Farms and providers that participated included Mandeville Farm in Spencer, Joe Rowland Honey in Owego, T. Babcock Honey in Nichols, Hillberry Farm in Berkshire, Stoughton Farm in Newark Valley, Engelbert Farm in Nichols, Hamley’s Maple in Barton and John’s Fine Foods in Owego.

Jack Arpey

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