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Area food pantries compete for grant awards

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Select food pantries are hosting extra food drives this month in hopes of receiving some of the $1 million made available to hunger-fighting agencies nationwide by the Feinstein Foundation.

The annual initiative, founded by Alan Shawn Feinstein, Cranston, R.I., encourages food pantries to raise funds and collect food items in March and April to compete for grants from $250 to $35,000.

“We have several vendors we’ve contacted and put boxes in places of business,” said Tammy S. Kitto, Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County emergency services manager.

People may drop off food or monetary donations at CAPC’s pantry, 518 Davidson St.

At the Watertown Urban Mission, 247 Factory St., the agency hopes to meet, or exceed, last year’s amount of 36,000 items/dollars.

Urban Mission Development Director Andrew G. Mangione said cash and food items donated in the spring help the mission’s food pantry in “historically lean months.”

“The Feinstein challenge helps create a new boost to help make sure people that are hungry in our community can get the food they need,” he said.

People must specifically say a monetary or food donation to participating pantries is for the Feinstein challenge.

The Village Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry, Carthage, also is a participant. Donations may be delivered or mailed to 452 S. Washington St., Carthage, N.Y. 13619. For more information, call 493-1341.

The challenge ends April 30.

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