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Irondequoit holds emergency food distribution

Volunteers load a car with a box of food at Irondequoit's emergency food distribution on Friday.
James Brown/WXXI News
Volunteers load a car with a box of food at Irondequoit's emergency food distribution on Friday.

The town of Irondequoit held its first emergency food distribution Friday at Bishop Kearney High School in response to economic shocks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Dozens of people dropped by to pick up 50 pounds of food courtesy of Foodlink and the Irondequoit Food Cupboard

Debbie Evans, who founded the cupboard in her garage 30 years ago, has been working more than 12 hours a day, all week, to make sure no one in her town goes hungry.

“People are really desperate right now, they don’t know what tomorrow will bring. So we’re doing the best to keep them calm, and knowing that they have a place to go get stuff helps calm them down a little bit," said Evans. “There's been a lot of tears, from both sides, I've cried, they’ve cried, and you know it's really a humble experience for people who never thought they’d need the help of a food cupboard.”

Evans said they’ll serve as many people as they can and those they can’t will go on a list and be helped later.

Irondequoit Councilwoman Patrina Freeman volunteered to help the effort. She said the actions she’s seen across her town in the last week have amazed her.

“They have reaffirmed my commitment to helping but also reaffirmed my faith in humanity,” said Freeman.” That we are all in this together. And that with the help of each other is the only way we’re going to make it through this.”

Freeman said numerous single people in town have turned down free food boxes in order to help families and needier people in their community. 

Shortly after the distribution began, town Supervisor Dave Seeley said he expected to give them all away.

He said there will be more distribution events.

“This is actually the first large-scale distribution event in the towns,” said Seeley. “We worked with Foodlink, they have the food, they have the volunteers to pack the food. What they need is a distribution system, and we’re making the case today, and we hope other towns follow suit so that the towns can serve as that distribution system.”

There were 300 boxes and they were only available to town residents who registered. 


James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.