Thanks to your generosity, a struggling food pantry at risk of closing will remain open.
Central New York and the Fuccillo family have raised $150,000 for the Assumption Food Pantry on the north side of Syracuse.
Just a few weeks ago, the food pantry was in danger of closing its doors to hundreds in need . Now, it will be able to stay open indefinitely.
We first told you about the need for donations earlier this month.
One of the oldest food pantries in our area, Assumption has been feeding the hungry since the 1860's.
As recently as three years ago, 135 families were registered to receive food each month.
Right now, the Pantry is feeding about 900 families per month, putting a strain on its budget and supplies.
Local car dealers Billy Fuccillo Senior and Junior saw our story air early in December, and partnered with CNY Central to help get the word out to raise money to keep shelves stocked.
The Fuccillos pledged to match every donation through the holidays, up to $50,000.
Your donations brought in $100,000 to the food pantry. Fuccillo's donation brings the total to $150,000.
" W e can help things like this... Some of the other things are out of our hands, but it's so important to bring forth things that we can take immediate action to," says Billy Fuccillo, Sr.
He says there are often so many negative things on the news, such as guns and drugs, that it takes away from positive things, and a chance to make a difference.
"I think it's really important that you get the whole community involved, and I think other people feel really good about what they did," Fuccillo says. "I heard a lot of people got involved, and there's a lot of people that felt like they were part of the community, that's what we need."
Checks continue to pour into the food pantry.
Donations have arrived from as far away as California, Vermont, Texas, and Virginia; but volunteers say most checks came from the Syracuse area.
Brother Nicholas Spano, Director of the Assumption Food Pantry, says that's a testament to the generosity of our community. He recognizes some neighbors may have cut corners in their own budgets to make sure the pantry's shelves were stocked.
" W e are so grateful that so many people believe in our ministry that they will support us , and most [are] supporting us with what they can. We are obviously thankful for our large benefactors who gave us many thousands, but also all that gave small amounts that probably came out of their own food budgets," says Brother Nicholas Spano, Director of the Assumption Food Pantry.
The Assumption Food Pantry says $150,000 is enough to sustain its budget for next year.
Right now, it's looking into fundraising efforts to provide support further out.
The pantry reminds us hunger is not a short term problem.