ALBANY NY (WRGB) - Since the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown, millions of workers have filed unemployment claims. This economic disruption is making food security a top priority.
Mark Emanatian, Director of the Capital District Area Labor Federation, says “Over the years, it’s gone up and down... but there’s always been that need. In America today, all of our sisters and brothers... no matter who they are... someone knows somebody that’s suffering or hurting and they need help.”
It’s why the Capital District Area Labor Federation, in cooperation with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, is hosting a contactless drive-thru food pantry on Friday to help.
This drive-thru food pantry will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon. Food for 400 families will be provided.
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“Why don’t we have a living wage, a real living wage where people can actually flourish? Why do we have homeless veterans and we have billionaires with 10 houses?” questioned Emanatian.
Mark tells CBS 6’s Lynsey Smith that many have filed for unemployment during this pandemic and that food pantries have brought tremendous support.
“I’ve seen desperation in some people’s eyes as they were getting their food, I could see the tears in some people’s eyes, and I could see the embarrassment in some people’s eyes going... 'I’m not the kind of person that goes to a food pantry,'” Emanatian continued.
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He also says the demand for charitable food assistance has grown in the Capital District.
“Regional Food Bank is in 23 counties. Food Pantries of the Capital District is in 4 counties and they have 65 member pantries... I know that all of them are up and some of them have doubled what they were doing last year at this time,” added Emanatian.
The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is also hosting a drive-thru food pantry on Thursday, June 11th.
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That event is happening at the Albany International Airport, starting at 10 a.m.
It will continue while supplies last and is open to anyone in need.