Partnering to Feed Our Community

Tajuana Cerutti, Communications Manager

It’s been two months since volunteers from the All Saints Eastside Food Pantry gathered together for the purpose of food. This time, instead of preparing items to help feed families, the volunteers who have dedicated their heart and resources to nourishing others sat down to enjoy a meal to celebrate the culmination of years of hard work serving their neighbors.

The History

Prior to closing in 2011, Our Lady of Solace operated a food pantry out of its location in the Salt Springs neighborhood for a number of years. The parishioners moved to All Saints, a new location on the Eastside at 1340 Lancaster Avenue, and then formed a partnership with Catholic Charities of Onondaga County (CCOC) to kick off a new pantry service without missing a beat. With unmatched dedication, for over nine years, the team gave of themselves to help deliver food, stockpile shelves, and work with neighbors, all while donating countless hours and money.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic left many unknowns for nonprofit organizations across Syracuse. Unfortunately one of the unknowns was whether or not the pantry at All Saints, supported by CCOC, could be sustained due to the ever-changing circumstances. The families who grew to know and utilize the service remained at the forefront of every volunteer’s mind. With that realization, the volunteer team considered if they could find a way to keep the pantry going themselves.

All Saints’ pastor, Father Fred Dailey, was the first person Dave Kirby approached to see if the idea had wings. After receiving the green light from Father Dailey and getting CCOC on board, Kirby rounded up about 20 core volunteers and divided them into separate teams. Each crew would work every 3 weeks to shop for food, raise funds, bag meals, and connect with families. For a solid two years, the food pantry was up and running, helping to maintain a need in the community on Eastside.

Even though the faithful group’s mission at the food pantry ended in July 2022, many of its members have continued to find ways to show kindness and care wherever extra hands are needed. On behalf of CCOC and the community on the Eastside, a special and heartfelt thank you goes out to every person on the All Saints team who made the food pantry all that it was over the years. The people served and the impact it had could not have been possible without each and every one of them. 

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