Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Contributes $24,300 to Akwesasne Food Pantry

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe contributed $24,300 to the Akwesasne Food Pantry to help provide emergency food to Akwesasne families, including a $19,300 donation presented at the tribal meeting on November 10, 2018. Pictured are (from left): Mary Jo Terrance, Executive Director for Mohawk Indian Housing Corporation that oversees the Akwesasne Food Bank, and Tribal Sub-Chief Agnes “Sweets” Jacobs.

Published November 16, 2018

AKWESASNE — On Kentenhkó:wa/November 10, 2018 at the Monthly Tribal Meeting; the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) provided the Akwesasne Food Pantry with a $19,300 donation to help support its operation for six months. Combined with a $5,000 donation from the SRMT Community Partnership Fund in September 2018, it amounts to a $24,300 contribution to the Food Pantry in recent months to help families in need of emergency food.

 “The Akwesasne Food Pantry appreciates the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s generosity and support, as we strive to assist the families of Akwesasne,” shared Mary Jo Terrance, Mohawk Indian Housing Corporation Executive Director, which operates the Food Pantry. Terrance added, “It has been my personal dream for the past five years to establish a local food pantry and I express my heartfelt appreciation to the Tribe for helping bring it to fruition.”

The Akwesasne Food Pantry opened on August 16, 2018 with limited emergency food supplies however; it needs to be operational for six months to register with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Once registered, they will have access to the Regional Food Bank’s large inventory of donations received from the food industry; which amounts to over 35-million pounds of food given each year to 1,000 charitable agencies in 23 New York counties.

“As we approach the holiday season, it’s important to remember those community members who struggle to provide food for their families,” said Sub-Chief Agnes “Sweets” Jacobs, who presented the most recent donation on behalf of the Tribe. Sub-Chief Jacobs noted, “A local food pantry has become a much-needed resource for many communities who have residents that struggle to provide a meal for their families. The Tribe is thankful for the opportunity to help, as well as to say ‘thank you’ to those community members and organizations that have also contributed or donated food items to help prevent families from going hungry.”

Over the past few months, the Akwesasne Food Pantry has received food donations from community members and proceeds from the Tribe’s Jeans Day. It has also received food deliveries from the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties (JCEO), which included donations from surrounding grocery and convenience stores. These donations have enabled the Food Pantry to help 451 residents from 166 families within the Akwesasne community.

The most recent monetary donation from the Tribe will assist the Akwesasne Food Pantry in purchasing eighty (80) meal boxes each month until it becomes registered with the Regional Food Bank, which it envisions to take place as soon as February 2019. Additionally, the donation will help purchase a utility trailer for deliveries, installation of shelves to comply with Regional Food Bank policy, and to obtain a commercial-sized freezer for storage.

The Akwesasne Food Pantry is located at the Mohawk Indian Housing Corporation Offices at 188 McGee Road in Akwesasne, NY. It is open to the public on the third Thursday of each month from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. For emergency food service outside public hours, please contact the Tribe’s Office of the Family Advocate or Victim Advocate at (518) 358-2272.

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