Mark Quandt, Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, and Linda Comstock, Director of Major Gifts and Special Projects for the organization, recently visited State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) and presented him with a special award, honoring him for his efforts in helping the group finish its warehouse project.
"I am truly touched," Senator Farley said, looking at the hand-painted bowl with his name on it. "The Regional Food Bank serves my constituents in Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga and Schenectady counties and many residents have told me of the organization's vital work in supporting and supplying food pantries and soup kitchens throughout our region."
In existence since 1982, the Latham-based organization found itself with a unique problem -- not finding food, but storing it. In 2003, the Regional Food Bank conducted a fund-raising effort to pay for warehouse improvements, a project that cost an estimated $3 million. Construction included adding a cooler space and an 18,000-square-foot addition. Senator Farley was able to obtain a special Senate grant of $7,500 for the project, and later that year secured a $50,000 grant through the Senate Community Capital Assistance Program.
In a letter to Senator Farley, Executive Director Quandt said this capital project allowed the Food Bank to increase food donations and distribution by 50 percent over its current capacity to more than 25 million pounds a year.
"I am glad I was able to help them reach their goal," Senator Farley said. "Both Mark and Linda are dedicated to their work and are an inspiration. Hungry families throughout northeastern New York are able to eat more nutritiously because of the Regional Food Bank's food recovery and distribution program."