Businesses challenged to support Guilderland Food Pantry

GUILDERLAND — One in 10 people in Guilderland is food insecure, according to a press release from the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce. The suburban town has a population of roughly 36,000.

AllSquare Wealth Management, a longtime member of the Guilderland Chamber, is providing a $7,000 Challenge Grant to the Guilderland Food Pantry, challenging other businesses to raise a matching donation. 

Currently, the pantry has 200 families as registered clients. Each month since the COVID-19 shutdown began in March, 15 to 20 new families have been added to the pantry’s client list. The Guilderland Food Pantry provides these families with food for five to seven days, once per month.

The food pantry has donated over 2,000 pounds of food to the Guilderland Central School District in support of its lunch program. The pantry also makes regular food donations to assist University at Albany students in need.

In 2019, the Guilderland Food Pantry had 787 client visits, serving 908 adults, 515 children, and 156 seniors.

Through the Guilderland Food Pantry’s partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, the pantry is able to make bulk purchases at lower prices, making each dollar donated go farther. One dollar buys 6.25 pounds of food, which equals five meals.

“This is the ultimate fundraiser as it requires zero valuable volunteer hours and requires no expenses by the Guilderland Food Pantry,” said Douglas Bauer, chief executive officer of AllSquare Wealth Management, in the release from the chamber.

“Our donors and volunteers are the heroes addressing food insecurity in Guilderland,” said Brian Rutherford, chairman of the food pantry’s board. “We simply provide the opportunity and channel for them to express their generosity and compassion.”

“As a lifelong Guilderland resident and the newly appointed director of the GFP, I am amazed at the giving spirit and sense of community I have witnessed in support of the pantry ... Your support during these challenging times is critical as we push forward in the effort to end hunger in our neighborhoods,” said John McDonnell in the release.

“At this time, we are all focused on supporting our local businesses and economies, we should also focus on supporting our local non-profits and food pantries ...,” said Danielle Walsh, who directs the chamber. “Not only will our donations help the GFP make up for lost revenue not being able to host events during the pandemic, it will also directly impact our community.” 

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