It's spring break for a lot of local schools, and a few community organizations are coming together to make sure that those who may be food insecure have what they need.

The Utica Food Pantry is partnering with Compassion Coalition and Chobani to host a community-wide drive-thru food distribution for families in need today. The event is taking place from 10AM to 1PM - or until the boxes for community members are all gone.

During the distribution, which is taking place at the Irish Cultural Center in Utica, pre-packaged food boxes will be given out and will include meat, dairy and produce items.

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During the last food distribution event that took place at the Irish Cultural Center on St. Patrick's Day, the Utica Food Panty says 46,512 pounds of food, the equivalent of 3876 meals were distributed. Cars lined up as early as 8:30AM to receive a Farm to Family food box which contained: chicken leg quarters, hot dogs, a gallon of milk, yogurt, apples, potatoes, cheeses, and bread.

The Utica Food Pantry is dedicated to assisting those in need by alleviating their immediate pain and problems regarding food insecurity and moving them toward self-sufficiency and financial independence. Typical clients include working families trying to make ends meet, people experiencing a temporary job loss, individuals whose SNAP (food stamps) benefits have been reduced, and senior citizens. Seniors often seek help because most are on a fixed income and are impacted by higher medication and health care costs.

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