Chobani announces grants to fight hunger in area

Jan. 8—Chobani on Monday announced the recipients of its sixth annual Chobani Community Impact Fund Grant. The grant program provides more than $100,000 to help fund programs and initiatives “that will increase access to nutritious food, address infrastructure needs and aid in filling the gap for residents experiencing food insecurity in Central New York for over 4,000 individuals served monthly,” according to a media release from the company.

Since the program debuted in 2018, the Chobani Community Impact Fund has awarded about $1.7 million in grants to more than 50 organizations in its hometowns in New York and Idaho, including 26 in Central New York: Community Cupboard of Edmeston, The Cooperstown Food Pantry, Unadilla Community Farm Education Center, and Salt City Harvest Farm, among many others, the release said.

As an expansion of its efforts, Chobani established the Community Impact Fund with the goal of strengthening the regions where Chobani employees live and work, the release said. The Community Impact Fund supports organizations, programs and projects that promote food and nutrition security in local communities to eradicate hunger.

The 2023 recipients are:

* Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, $20,000. The grant will support nutrition education and cooking classes in Otsego County for local families and children.

* Improve Norwich Now-Aunt Mary’s House, $17,917, The grant will support the creation of a kitchen space for pregnant and parenting women.

* Norwich City School District, $20,000. With the grant, the Norwich City School District will expand its backpack and food pantry program.

* Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, $20,000. The grant will help provide equitable access to healthy foods in Otsego County.

* Rural Health Network Serving South Central New York, $20,000. The grant will provide support for Rural Healthy Network SCNY’s Harvesting Health initiative, which will expand garden programming for food and nutrition security.

* St. James Feeding Ministries (The Lord’s Table and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry), $26,000. The grant will aid in feeding the homeless and families in need in the Oneonta area.

* The Cooperstown Food Pantry, $12,000. The grant will support the Bassett Satellite pantry program providing foods specific to the nutritional needs of cancer patients and their families.

“Since day one, Chobani has believed in better food for more people,” said Becca Dittrich, vice president for impact and partnerships at Chobani. “We are driven by championing change, and by proving the power of business when it uses its influence as a force for good. We are so excited to provide grants to these seven organizations, and grateful to our Chobani employee committee that votes on the recipients. By doing so, they are having a real firsthand impact on the organizations serving the places they call home.”

Chobani’s employee selection committee, alongside The Community Foundation for South Central New York, considers applicants’ needs and how the organization plans to support the needs of the community using the grant, according to the release.

“Every year, we look forward to working in partnership with Chobani to make impactful investments from their Community Impact Fund”, said Tina Barber, executive director of the Community Foundation for South Central New York. “Over the past six years, we’ve been able to support critical projects related to food security and agricultural entrepreneurism in Delaware, Otsego, Chenango and Madison counties. We are grateful for their continued commitment to our community.”

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