The Neighborhood Center proudly announces the triumphant culmination of its food drive, which ran from November 1st to December 4th.  The campaign, created by children enrolled in the school-age child care program, aimed at addressing food insecurity in our community, achieved remarkable success, collecting over 5000 pounds of non-perishable food items generously donated by local residents, businesses, and organizations including the Utica Academy of Science Charter School and Price Rite. In addition to offering clients non-perishable foods, generous donations from Ross Berntson, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Indium and Jimmy Salerno, owner of Poncell Construction, have funded meat for holiday meals.

The overwhelming support and generosity of our community members have made this food drive an extraordinary success. Through their kindness and dedication, The Neighborhood Center surpassed its initial goal of feeding 300 families, providing critical assistance to individuals and families facing hunger in our area.

“We are thrilled and deeply grateful for the incredible response to this year’s food drive,” said Jennifer Benn, Director of Development and Public Relations at The Neighborhood Center. “A key aspect of our child care program’s curriculum is the importance of community service; specifically developing social awareness and how each individual can bring about meaningful change.  For the kids to see this type of response from their community is incredibly validating and makes them even more eager for their next service project.”

The donated non-perishable food items, including canned goods, pasta, rice, cereals, and other essential items, will be distributed to individuals and families in need.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this campaign, whether through donations or spreading awareness,” added Benn. “Your support illustrates how small kindnesses — like adding an extra canned good to your grocery shopping – makes a huge impact.”

The mission of The Neighborhood Center, Inc. is to enrich the lives of individuals and families through cooperative opportunities, resources and advocacy which embrace diversity, promote empowerment, and foster responsible citizenship.  Through its sustained pattern of activities that benefit children, families and the community since 1905, The Neighborhood Center, Inc. continues to advance in our enduring mission of truly “human” service.

For more information about The Neighborhood Center, call (315) 272-2600, or visit,

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