Herkimer County Hunger Coalition

Herkimer County Hunger Coalition P.O. Box 622, Herkimer, NY 13350

Herkimer County Hunger Coalition P.O. Box 622, Herkimer, NY 13350Herkimer County Hunger Coalition P.O. Box 622, Herkimer, NY 13350Herkimer County Hunger Coalition P.O. Box 622, Herkimer, NY 13350


The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition was created initially to work with Herkimer County food pantries in helping guarantee that they provide ample, nutritious meals for those residents at hunger risk. Since 1999, we've raised over $250,000 and initiated a public relations campaign designed to inform the public about what pantries do, where they're located and why they need its support with the result that the latter's distribution of meals has increased from c.56,000 in 1999 to, since 2009, an average of 450,000 per year.  During the same period, Coalition funds helped in the development of pantries in Newport (Kuyahoora) and Van Hornesville, thus insuring that the entirety of Herkimer County was covered regarding meeting the needs of people living at hunger risk.  For the last few years, the Coalition has paid for snacks provided children in the After School Reading Program and for diapers requested by some pantries. Aiding our eight county pantries will always remain our primary objective.

Herkimer County Hunger Coalition Board of Directors; RJ Lenarcic (Founder); Kay Lenarcic; Kelly Brown; Jackie Lewis; Devin McDonald; Laura Hailston;

Ron Schoonmaker; Kira Miller; Sue Tucker (Pantry Rep); Stephanie Koch; Dave Petkovsek (Treasurer).

Help Our Cause

Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.

"We Serve So None Shall Go Hungry"

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Pizza Delivery to First Responders in the Mohawk Valley.

11:00am - 5:00pm

Throughout the Valley

Event Details


Pizza Delivery to First Responders in the Mohawk Valley.

The Coalition will be delivering pizzas to first responders located throughout the Mohawk Valley. We've joined the Greater Herkimer Lions' (...

Event Details

11:00am - 5:00pm

Throughout the Valley


Bruce Crimmins Memorial Benefit

8:30am - 5:00pm

Mohawk Valley Country Club

Event Details


Bruce Crimmins Memorial Benefit

Golf Tournament

Honoring Marine Sgt. Joseph "Stash" Zawtocki, Jr.

8:30am - 5:00pm

Mohawk Valley Country Club



HCHC / Postal Employees - 04/29/2020

Pictured front left to right: Andrea Vedder, Jen Slabe, Don Eckler, Matt Decker; Middle Row: Pat Parmer, Bri Rice (Postmaster), RJ Lenarcic (Greater Herkimer Lions Club Past-President); Back Row: Dave Petkovsek-Hunger Coalition Treasurer.  The Greater Herkimer Lions Club and Herkimer County Hunger Coalition recently presented certificates of appreciation and gift cards to postal employees at the Little Falls Post Office. "We felt it important to recognize these postal workers for providing indispensable services while putting their lives at risk during this pandemic-too often their contributions go unnoticed."



HCHC / Postal Employees - 04/27/2020

The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition and Greater Herkimer Lions Club recently recognized the contributions of the postal employees at the Herkimer Post Office with certificates of appreciation and gifts cards to Dunkin Donuts. "Our postal workers perform an indispensable service while facing contamination from the Corona virus and certainly deserve this token of appreciation from our two organizations."



Furnace Street Park / Upcoming OD Article "Easter 1954" - 04/12/2020

Left: Ray Lenarcic at Furnace Street Park in Little Falls. Check out this Sunday's column in the Observer Dispatch entitled - "Easter: 1954-Recalling halcyon days growing up as part of the Furnace Street Gang".



HCHC / Kuyahoora Food Pantry - 04/03/2020

Left-Ralph Dow-Coordinator-Kuyahoora Food Pantry and right-Ray Lenarcic-Hunger Coalition-brought Easter sweets for the annual Easter Basket distribution;  A couple of things often associated with Easter are hams and chocolate Easter bunnies, not to mention lilies, colored eggs and redemption. Once again, several county pantries are providing Easter baskets for their clients.  Ralph Dow (Kuyahoora Valley), Spike Seeley (Dolgeville), Sue Tucker (Little Falls and Frankfort/Ilion) and Beverly Guilfoyle {Van Hornesville/Jordanville) will be greeting people with smiles on their faces and goodies in their hands during the next few days-several hundred in all.  As an example of what people receive, Spike and his volunteers will be handing out hams, scalloped taters, canned pineapple, 2 cans of veggies, mixed nuts and dried fruit, cake mix, raisins, etc.  The Hunger Coalition provided Cadbury Eggs, the chocolate bunnies and a variety of other sweets for the kids. The pantries and Coalition are grateful for the donations from generous citizens and the Food Bank which enable them to provide these "extras" at holiday times." Even during these difficult and dangerous times, these coordinators and their volunteers are putting their lives at risk to guarantee that families at hunger risk  enjoy a bountiful Easter meal and their kids some sugary delights. While I'm at it, the Coalition could use your help as our resources are taking a hit-check out our "DONATE NOW" link below or send a check to HCHC, PO Box 622, Herkimer N.Y. 13350.  Your donation is tax deductible."  Thank you, RJ Lenarcic



HCHC / Food Crisis - 03/17/2020

Since the schools are developing their own programs in regard to the food crisis, the Coalition now makes this official announcement.  "The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition reminds families whose children are part of the Breakfast-Lunch Program that they can avail our pantries if in need.  The latter will provide non-perishables such as cereal, peanut butter, jam,tuna, soups, pastas etc.  If interested, bring identification and proof of residence and the letter of acceptance (children's eligibility in the breakfast-lunch program) to the pantry.  Any costs derived from what might be called "Emergency Usage" will be defrayed by the Coalition.

What follows are the County pantries with whom we work, their location and their hours:

  ** Dolgeville

          United Methodist Church - 21 N. Helmer / Thursdays 3-4:30 PM and Sat. 9 AM / 315-429-3310);

  ** Frankfort-Ilion

          Annunciation Parish Center - 60 West St. / Mon-Fri 1-3PM / 315-894-9917.

  ** Kuyahoora Valley

          8202 St. Rte. 28 - Newport / Mon. and Weds. 1-4:15 PM and Weds. 6-7PM / 315-845-8286.

  ** Little Falls

          Little Falls Community Center - 45 Furnace St. / Tues.-Fri. 12:00-2PM / 315-823-1793.

  ** Herkimer

         Salvation Army - 431 N. Prospect St.  / Mon.-Fri. 12:30-2:30 PM / 315-866-1240.

  ** Old Forge

         St. Bartholomew's Food Pantry 103 Crosby Blvd. / Tues. and Thurs. 4:00-6:00PM / 315-369-3554.

  ** West Winfield Pantry

         Federated Church - 452 E. Main St. / Mon-Fri 1:00 PM-3:00 PM / 315-822-6321.

  ** Van Hornesville-Jordanville Pantry

         Van Hornesville Post Office - 2178 Rte. 80 / Weds. 12:30-2:30 / 315-219-3942.

For these families along with anyone else interested in visiting the pantries, please call first as protocols may be in the process of changing.  Any questions and/or additional info-call Rae Raffle-Maxson at 315-894-9917 or me-315-866-7765.  Wash your hands-keep safe distances-and pray.  Finally, a big shout out to CVA, Jeremy, Garrett and all the others for hitting the road so quickly re: food distribution, and to all the county schools-the Coalition is available to help in any way.



HCHC / Coloring-Drawing Contest - 03/11/2020

Recently, the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition announced the winners of its annual Jeffrey and the Red Paper Heart Coloring-Drawing Contest  held among third-graders at Benton Hall Academy in Little Falls.First prize winners ($10): Landon Rockwell-Alora Rosa-Khloe Higgins-Autumn Brant-Kylie Regan-Lindsay Harvey. Second place winners ($5)-Sophia Kane-Guiliana Carpineti-Mariah Regan and Avenlea Koch. There were 17 honorable mentions ($2).

At the presentation, the Coalition also announced its annual Denny O'Toole and the Leprechauns Coloring-Drawing Contest for 4th graders at BHA. As with the other contests held throughout the year, the stories were penned by RJ Lenarcic (LFHS Class of '60) and illustrations drawn by BHA Principal Joe Long (LFHS Class of   ). "I was once asked why the Coalition sponsors these contests. My answer-Joe and I love to see the children's smiling faces-makes us wish that we could be 3rd graders forever. Plus, they're the perfect remedy for what lately has become a daily case of the blues."



HCHC 2020 / Cpl. Michael Mayne Cookie Corps - 02/21/2020

L-R:  Kelly Brown, RJ Lenarcic, Jodi Rivers, Jennifer Demetro, Laura Hailston.  Jodi and Jen are recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Service Award for providing a place for Cpl. Michael Mayne Cookie Corps donations to be dropped off-since 2009.  Laura coordinates the program. Kelly and RJ are HCHC Directors.



HCHC 2019 Humanitarian Awards - 01/17/2020

The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition recently recognized its 2019 Humanitarian of the Year Award winners: The Owners and Employees of Northstar Recycling. Accepting the award was Director of Account Management Amanda Zawtocki-pictured with fellow employees Devyn Roorda, Caitlin Boyer and Melinda Regan. Among the charities supported by the Northstar family's Holiday Donation Program  are: HCHC winter coats (20); Gram Lorraine-3 sponsors; Herkimer County Humane Society; Liah's Foster House; Little Falls Fuel (heating oil for five families in need); Little Falls School District (paying past due lunch accounts for families in need); Vets Outreach; Santa's for Seniors; Chemo Comfort Bags (10);Little Falls Housing Authority (4 individuals in need). "Northstar's unique owner-employee relationship as it pertains to charitable giving should serve as a model for other area companies. Kudos to Amanda and everyone involved for improving the quality of life for so many people and reminding us what can happen when people care." (RJ Lenarcic)

Between Halloween and New Year's Day, the Coalition distributed $9450 to the following (amounts in parentheses): Kuyahoora, Dolgeville and Salvation Army Food Pantries ($500 each); Little Falls Outreach Food Backpack Program ($250); the eight County pantries' Food Bank of Central N.Y. accounts ($250 each); Gram Lorraine new winter coats (Macy's)-($4,000 for 180-total of 242 given out); Franco's Pizza's Homework Club ($500-in memory of Michael Petrie); HCCC's General's Cupboard ($500-in memory of Marine SSgt. Zawtocki, Jr.); Operation Sunshine ($500-in memory of the McCleod Children); Ilion VFW's Thanksgiving Community Dinner ($250). Also, an estimated $150,000 was  spent locally by Gram Lorraine sponsors purchasing gifts for their assigned children. "We could not support these charities without the generosity of our donors, both large and small. The aforementioned report was done in part to remind the community-at-large what their donations can do to improve the quality of life of people whose needs are many and resources few. Anyone interested in supporting the Coalition with their dollars or dedication can let us know by writing HCHC at P.O. Box 622, Herkimer, N.Y. Donations are tax deductible. Speaking on behalf of myself and our directors, I wish y'all a happy, healthy 2020." (RJ Lenarcic)



Gram Lorraine - 12/20/2019

The HCHC benefited recently from the generosity of two area service organizations. The Little Falls Rotary Club donated $250 and the Little Falls DeCarlo-Staffo Post donated $100 (to be deposited in the local food pantry's account in the Food Bank of Central N.Y.). Also present was Lt. Gov. Greg Riddle from the Frankfort Kiwanis Club which sponsored 25 children in Frankfort-Schuyler's Gram Lorraine program coordinated by Lucille Hand. "The generosity of local organizations like Rotary, DeCarlo-Staffo and the Frankfort Kiwanis never cease to amaze me and, along with our other supporters, organizational and individual, are the reasons why the Coalition can continue to realize its many objectives. Happy Holidays to them and to the general public from the Board of Directors of the Coalition."

L-R: Greg Riddle -Lt. Gov.-Frankfort Kiwanis Club; Dr. Tony Piana-Past President Little Falls Rotary Club; Dave Petkovsek-Director-Herkimer County Hunger Coalition and Tony Papparella-DeCarlo-Staffo Post (Little Falls).



Operation Candy Cane - 12/05/19

Laura Hailston and Operation Candy Cane recently donated excess food, toiletries and paper products to the Shepherd's Table, a group of local women who provide homemade hot lunches every Thursday at the Reformed Church in Herkimer. Pictured are the goodies donated. Kudos Laura!



Herkimer County Hunger Coalition - 11/27/19

Recently, the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition donated $250 to the Little Falls Community Outreach Food Backpack Program which provides weekly some 50 pupils attending Benton Hall Academy with a backpack filled with the following: 2 breakfast items, 2 snacks (cookies, popcorn, pudding), a gallon of milk, loaf of bread, 2 juice boxes, 3 entrees (e.g. mac/cheese; tuna; Spaghetti O's; etc), canned veggies and fruit when in season. "The donation is in keeping with the Coalition's original mission (We serve so none shall go hungry) and in recognition of the outstanding job LFCO is doing to guarantee that these children have ample, nutritious meals over the weekend." (Dave Petkovsek) The meals are packed on Thursdays by volunteers including Middle and High School students at LFCS. The organization also operates a summer free lunch program benefiting local children. "We encourage readers during this time of giving to consider donating as well to this worthwhile cause."

L-R: Cathy Carpineti and Tamara Razanno from Little Falls Community Outreach; Kira Miller and Dave Petkovsek-Directors-HCHC



Pumpkin Man Coloring Contest - 11/25/19

Pictured from left to right-third graders Joslynn Moore - Sophia Kane - Jack Jasewicz and Delana Herringshaw.  Absent: Ethan Lockwood-they're first place winners of the Pumpkin Man Coloring Contest held at Benton Hall Academy in Little Falls. Pumpkin Man is a story written by Little Falls High School Class of 1960 grad, RJ Lenarcic, and illustrated by another LFHS grad and Principal at Benton Hall, Joe Long. (said Lenarcic) "I have to commend Third Grade teachers, the Mrs. Shea, Volo, Ostasz and Congdon, for motivating their pupils to get involved. The coloring skill displayed by the children was remarkable-especially to someone like myself who still can't color between the lines. Every entry received a reward."  The contest was sponsored by the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition



Gram Lorraine Christmas Program - 11/23/19

Once again 12 athletic teams at Herkimer College have come through to support the Gram Lorraine Children's Christmas Program. For the past several years, the College's coaches and student-athletes have sponsored upwards of 200 children  who are part of the BOCES Migrant Worker Program. "These young men and women and their coaches continue to put the community in community college through their charitable deeds. Their accomplishments on and off the fields are a credit to their families and their school and as a longtime now retired instructor at HCCC, I am especially proud to be associated with them - as I am with their coaches for helping in their character and athletic development."

(RJ Lenarcic)

Front Row-l to r:  Amber Been (Women's Basketball Coach) - Tayler Clark (Women's Soccer) - Emily LeBlanc (Women's Soccer) - Kayla Suppa (Women's Soccer and Volleyball)-Gabby Ellixson (Women's Softball) - Kali Hume (Assistant Softball Coach)  Back Row-l to r - Jamie Ireland (Men's Lacrosse) - Ryan Sparacino (Men's Lacrosse) - Lewis Lewis (Cross Country) - Jason Palkovic (Women's Soccer Coach) - Kerissa Marquisse (Womens Volleyball) - Kristin Brennan (Women's Volleyball).



Gram Lorraine - 11/8/19

Gram Lorraine delivered 107 brand new winter coats to deserving children in Benton Hall Academy today-Coat coordinator Kay Lenarcic will be delivering additional coats to BOCES Migrant Worker Program, Frankfort-Schuyler Elementary, Barringer Road Elementary and Fisher Elementary School tomorrow - keeping our commitment to get the kids coats by Veterans Day.  The Coalition purchased $4000 worth of coats (180) earlier in the week.



Operation Candy Cane - 11/2/19

Frankfort Kiwanis Club President Bill "Sheriff" Evans presented HCHC Director Laura Hailston with a $100 check to be used in her Operation Candy Cane Program this year.  OCC provides gifts, foodstuff and hand made Christmas cards for servicemen and women who utilize the Marine Cpl. Gregory Harris Hospitality Room at Syracuse's Hancock Airport.  Several area schools participate in the program-including Benton Hall Academy, Fisher Elementary, Barringer Rd. Elementary, Frankfort-Schuyler Elementary and Central Valley Academy.  Excess vittles shared among area pantries and the Shepherd's Table. "I can't thank the Frankfort Kiwanis enough for its support. They remain one of the area's greatest charitable organizations having sponsored dozens of children in our Gram Lorraine Program." (Laura Hailston). Anyone interested in more info on OCC or making a donation can contact Laura at 315-894-0854