One of the country’s most urgent problems is food insecurity, and the Corner Cupboard Food Bank Inc. is doing its best to help end hunger in Greene County.

Corner Cupboard works to meet the food needs of the families, seniors, veterans, and children throughout the county who are experiencing hunger.

Each month, the food bank and its 11 volunteer-run food pantries feed about 2,500 people in Greene County.

Corner Cupboard Director Candace Tustin Webster is seeing an uptick in the number of people who are seeking help because of food insecurity.

“Now, at this time of year, we definitely see an increase in sign-ups and families in need because of a lot of factors. With cold weather here, families are choosing between paying their heating bill, or older folks are deciding if they’re going to pay for medication, or if they’re going to put that toward food,” said Tustin Webster.

The food bank’s annual operating budget is between $250,000 and $300,000, and Corner Cupboard relies heavily on donations, along with state and federal funding to procure fresh and canned foods to distribute to families in need.

“Monetary donations are incredibly important because we can purchase exactly what we need. We rely so much on donations and grants, and I’m always trying to generate funding and support through fundraisers,” said Tustin Webster.

Corner Cupboard also relies on its volunteers, whom Tustin Webster calls “the backbone” of the food bank and its pantries, who, among other jobs, help pack and distribute monthly food boxes.

.Partnerships with large retail donors, including Walmart, Sheetz and Sam’s Club, have recently helped the food bank to double the amount of food items it can provide for the county’s neighbors in need.

Right now, the food bank is in desperate need of a 24- to- 26-foot refrigerated box truck to pick up those large food donations.

“Our goal is to raise enough money to purchase a truck that’s suitable for our needs,” said Tustin Webster.

Currently, the Corner Cupboard is about one-third of the way to its goal to raise $25,000. Information about how to contribute to the fundraiser is available on the Corner Cupboard website.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to hold in-person fundraisers, so the food bank encourages individuals and organizations to host virtual food drives.

“There has always been a need for our services, before COVID, and now during the pandemic,” said Tustin Webster. “The pantries are important to so many people.”

For additional information to see how to hold a virtual drive or to volunteer, or for other ways to help the food bank, visit its website at www.cornercupboard.org.

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