Ritchie Presents Watertown's Phillips Family with Senate Commendation Award

Patty Ritchie

July 26, 2021

Family Recognized for Effort to Organize Community Food Pantries

State Senator Patty Ritchie recently presented the Phillips family of Watertown with the New York State Senate’s Commendation Award for their efforts to organize community food pantries—including one in their front yard—during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April of last year, Leah and Logan Phillips, daughters of Trevor Phillips, came to their father concerned about families who were unable to work due to the pandemic and subsequently, unable to put food on the table. Mr. Phillips and his daughters decided to set up a food pantry in the front yard of their City of Watertown home, where people could come and take what they needed. Friends, family members, area residents and local businesses contributed to the pantry.

“The many ways people stepped up to help others who were struggling during the pandemic are inspiring—and it’s especially amazing to hear the stories of young people who recognized a need and took action to help others,” said Senator Ritchie.

“That’s exactly what Leah and Logan Phillips did, along with their father Trevor. By turning their front yard into a food pantry and then, hosting a larger scale food distribution event, they helped feed hundreds of families during a very scary, challenging time. I am honored to be able to recognize them for their efforts and look forward to seeing how these young ladies, along with their father, continue to make a difference in their community.”

After witnessing the tremendous need at their first food pantry event, Mr. Phillips—who serves as a New York State corrections officer—and his daughters decided to organize another food pantry event, this time in the Watertown Savings Bank parking lot. Mr. Phillips’ New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) colleagues, as well as friends and family volunteered their time to distribute food to those in need, with many attendees showing up several hours in advance of the pantry’s opening to obtain fruit, vegetables, canned goods and other items.

The New York State Senate Commendation Award recognizes exceptional people who have made a lasting contribution to their community. Award recipients devote their personal time, energy, creativity and expertise to others. They also are leaders in their community who enrich the social, health and educational well-being of their fellow citizens

(Senator Ritchie is pictured in the attached photo with Trevor Phillips and his daughters Leah (left) and Logan (right))