With temperatures dropping and winter approaching, food pantries are in need of donations.

Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), part of the Broome County Council of Churches, is one food pantry that said they are always open to donations.

On Wednesday, Michael Seman, CHOW Warehouse Supervisor, said in our area, 1 in 6 people are food insecure— this equals about 16,000 children.

“There’s a chance that they could be food insecure and the affect that has on someone growing up and where’s your next meal going to come from?” he said.

He said he loves working for CHOW and serving peoples’ needs with dignity and compassion. CHOW allows local community members the opportunity to pick out the food they want.

Although they get donations, especially during their larger events, he said the need increases during the winter season and between the holidays.

“People start making tough choices of buying winter jackets or boots and those are choices nobody should have to make,” Seman said.

He said the turnover rate is fascinating, as the food you donate can be picked up and served to someone the same day. Donations are a necessity to keep their shelves stocked.

“The need goes up, and as does our capacity, but we will never be able to stay above the curve so to speak,” he said.

In some parts of Binghamton, such as on the North Side, grocery stores are not available. CHOW redesigned a school bus by painting it and fitting it with coolers and a produce section to deliver the food. Providing nutritious meals to those in need is their overall goal.

“It’s daunting— the challenges, but we really do come together as a community here to meet those needs,” Seman said.

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