CROWNPOINT-The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York has discontinued its Extra Helpings Program.
The program served families in Crown Point and Moriah. In the past it was offered in Ticonderoga.
"I'm sorry it is ending," Laurie Harvey, Crown Point Extra Helpings coordinator, said. "We had built up to 15 participants and over 40 packages ordered totalling almost $800 last month. It was really beginning to grow in the last four months. People say they depend on it and will miss it. Knowing of no other program like it, they have been unable to find a replacement."
Extra Helpings is a cooperative food-buying program that provides people with purchased food bags through partner agencies such as community centers throughout the food bank's 23-county service area. Extra Helpings provides food at low cost so people can stretch their food-buying dollars.
Once a month, customers pre-pay for Extra Helpings food at local host sites. Customers may use cash, check, or food stamps. The Extra Helpings program has no age limit and no income limits.
Harvey said the food bank will try to offset the impact of the Extra Helpings demise by working with local food pantries.
"The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York says there has been tremendously increased use of area food pantries and they will be working with these," she said.
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York officials said the decision to halt the Extra Helpings program was "deemed necessary in light of the current economic climate and decreased demand for the program. Due to the steady increase in food and transportation costs, it has become increasingly difficult for vendors to commit to prices several weeks in advance of each new menu. Over the past two years, the number of people seeking emergency food assistance has reached unprecedented levels throughout the 23-county service area."
May is the final month of the Extra Helpings program.
The final offering for $21 includes 2 pounds of turkey burgers,
2 pounds of chicken tenders, 1.5 pounds of beef patties, 1 pound of hot dogs, 1 pound of strawberries and a bag of coleslaw.
The $17.25 special includes 8 pounds of beef patties. The $14.25 special is 6 pounds of Italian sweet sausage.
The $32 meat box includes a 2-pound port roast, 2.5 pounds of stew beef, 3 pounds of chicken tenders, 2 pounds of breakfast sausage links and 3 pounds of ground beef.
Orders are by cash only and can be brought to the Knapp Senior Center in Crown Point 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, May 10, or call 597-9495 anytime before then.
Pick up will be Wednesday, May 25, 11 a.m. to noon at the Knapp Senior Center in Crown Point.