PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County chapter of the Advocacy and Resource Center recognized Disability Awareness Month by giving back to the community.
The not-for-profit organization collected more than 3,000 pounds of food in March using more than 35 food collection boxes set up at local businesses around the region.
All of the food will be divvied between the Interfaith Food Shelf and the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity’s food bank on Thursday, April 11.
It is the second consecutive year the ARC has collected food for local food shelves. They also accepted monetary donations.
“The bottom line is that a not-for-profit is always seeking support,” said Kathleen Stygles, director of Champlain Valley Industries. “This is a time when we can support the community.”
The ARC provides services to developmentally disabled individuals throughout Clinton County.
It is one of 51 chapters of New York State ARC, Inc., which covers the entire state.
The Clinton County chapter has been active for 59 years, serves 550 people and is the third largest employer in the county, next to Plattsburgh State and CVPH Medical Center.
Over the last six decades, individuals the ARC serves have volunteered in places like nursing homes, nursery schools, and animal shelters.
The food drive is another way the ARC strives to give back to the community, and it is also an opportunity for community members to learn more about them.
“Sometimes, people don’t know individuals with developmental disabilites,” said Theresa Garrow, executive director of the ARC. “Like anything in life, if we don’t know about something, oftentimes we’re fearful. If we get an opportunity to meet someone who has a disability, that fear will melt away instantly.”