Food Bank of CNY

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

For the last four years, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she has been trying to create five food hubs to help centralize food processing and distribution upstate. Gillibrand said one food bank in Rochester is stepping up its operations and she wants one in Syracuse to do the same.

Gillibrand said the Foodlink regional food bank in Rochester has a commercial kitchen and food processing machines. Instead of only repackaging and sending out food, Foodlink can also clean and slice produce which makes them attractive to commercial food distributors in New York City.

The number of people who are hungry in central and northern New York is climbing. The latest survey from the Food Bank of Central New York shows an increase in food requests as well as some changes in the kinds of people who are asking for help.

At the height of the recession in 2008-2009, the Food Bank of Central New York saw a 12 percent increase in the number of meals requested across its 11-county service area. Those numbers stabilized, but now they are going back up -- climbing seven percent last year.   

Food Bank of Central New York

  How has Upstate New York been coping with the problem of hunger?  How have the challenges changed in recent years?  And how does the concern for proper nutrition fit with the need to feed people who are going hungry?  On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher discusses these questions with Kathleen Stress, the executive director of the Food Bank of Central New York.  Some of the answers might surprise you.