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Corning Food Pantry celebrates 50 years of service

Sep 11, 2023 | FBST, Foodbank Blog, Volunteers

In a celebration of community support and resilience, the Corning Community Food Pantry marks a significant milestone this year by commemorating 50 years of dedicated service to the food-insecure population of Corning and its neighboring communities. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier joined in this memorable occasion to recognize their exceptional contributions by presenting a prestigious certificate.

According to the Corning Community Food Pantry’s website, In 1973, Father Davis, the pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, noticed an increase in the number of individuals who came to the rectory kitchen door asking for help with food. For several months, he and his housekeeper put together food bags to help folks out. The need soon outgrew their ability to keep up with demand, so Father Davis asked some women in the parish community to help organize a much-needed pantry distribution. The women started pre-packing bags to be ready at a moment’s notice. But the need continued to grow, and eventually, these dedicated women signed a membership contract with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, then a very small, new distribution center to help combat hunger in the Southern Tier. This was the birth of Corning Community Food Pantry, the non-denominational agency they have grown throughout the years and is now in its fourth location.

The Corning Community Food Pantry is a member agency of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier, a crucial ally in the fight against hunger, chose the occasion of the pantry’s 50th anniversary to publicly acknowledge their outstanding efforts. In a ceremony held at the pantry, representatives from the Food Bank presented a certificate of recognition to the Corning Food Pantry team. This acknowledgment serves as a testament to their unwavering commitment to alleviating hunger and nourishing the community.

The certificate recognizes not only the longevity of the pantry but also its dedication to ensuring food security for residents in Corning and the surrounding areas. Over the years, the Corning Food Pantry has evolved and expanded its services to meet the growing needs of the community.

President and CEO of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Mark Bordeau, expressed his appreciation for the Corning Food Pantry’s resilience and compassion. “The Corning Food Pantry has been an unwavering pillar of support for the community, serving as a source of hope and sustenance for half a century. Their dedication to fighting food insecurity is inspiring, and we are honored to recognize their incredible journey,” said Bordeau.


In attendance at the ceremony were community members, volunteers, and local officials who have witnessed the Corning Food Pantry’s transformation over the years. The event was not just an acknowledgment of the pantry’s accomplishments but also an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate their collective efforts in making a difference.

A proclamation signed by NYS Senator Tom O’Mara and NYS Rep Phil Palmesano was presented on behalf of the members of the New York State Legislature, expressing the collective appreciation, gratitude, recognition and tribute to the Corning Community Food Pantry.

As the Corning Food Pantry looks forward to the next 50 years, it remains committed to its mission of ensuring that no one in its community goes hungry. The certificate from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier is not just a symbol of appreciation but a reminder of the vital role the pantry plays in the lives of those it serves.

In a world often marked by uncertainty, the Corning Food Pantry’s steadfast presence and enduring commitment to battling food insecurity provide a ray of hope and a source of nourishment for generations to come. The Corning community joins hands in congratulating and thanking the pantry for its remarkable 50 years of service. Here’s to 50 more years of making a difference!

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one at a time is a motto that is on the wall in the pantry.

If you or someone you know need assistance in finding food, you can find resources on our FIND FOOD page.

If you are interested in helping fight hunger in the Southern Tier you can find ways to help on our Ways to Give page.

Below is a gallery of some pictures from the event.