Life Skills students donate to food pantry

Next food distribution is Thursday, Dec. 21, at Chester Presbyterian Church

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  • The Chester Community Food Pantry received a donation from the Life Skills Class at the Chester Academy. From left: Tori, Paul, Tyler, Treasure, Nick, and Emily presented the check to Okey Barrett, center (Photo provided)

— This is the second year the students of Marianne Ciuffetelli’s Life Skills class presented the Chester Community Food Pantry with a donation from its Hungry Hambletonian cafe proceeds.

Ciuffetelli started the Hungry Hambletonian at the Chester Academy to operate as a business to teach life skills and to raise money for the food pantry.

"It was a cafe that we did once a week for the faculty," said Ciuffetelli. "The students were working their own business and donating the profits to the food pantry."

A few weeks ago, Okey Barrett, Moderator of Deacons at Chester Presbyterian, invited the class to visit the pantry, located at the Chester Presbyterian Church. While there, the students not only presented their donation, they emptied the outside food bin, checked expiration dates, sorted food items, and stocked shelves. They also learned the different food groups in the client-choice pantry.

The Chester Presbyterian Pantry started in the late 1970s, feeding needy families in the Town of Chester for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. In the 1980s, donations and work by many groups and people have made the pantry a success. The program progressed to becoming the Chester Community Food Pantry after it was accepted as a member of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in November 2000.

"We are very, very thankful for all the support given; not just by the community of Chester but also from our surrounding areas," The Rev. Erin Moore.

The pantry distributes food on the fourth Thursday of each month from 4 to 7 p.m., except for holidays, when the date is moved up to the third Thursday. The next distribution will be held on Thursday, Dec. 21.

The pantry is an equal opportunity provider.

To support the food pantry, write a check to First Presbyterian Church of Chester (FPCC will do), marked “Friends of Food Pantry” on the memo line, and sent to FPCC at 96 Main St., Chester, NY 10918. Offers to volunteer may be mailed to that same address, emailed to or, called in to 845-469-4877 and left on the answering machine.

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