Schoharie County Bassett Healthcare Network Staff Help Combat Local Hunger

Bassett Healthcare Network employees in Schoharie County conducted a food drive in early February, gathering an estimated 680 lb. of donations. That amount of food could provide approximately 452 meals.

"There are always families experiencing food insecurity," explains Marie Callahan, the regional practice manager. "In our local area there is a larger need than usual in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to do anything we could to help alleviate that need in some way."

food drive volunteers
Pictured from left to right: June Collins, Dr. John Novak, Marie Callahan, and Tammy Tansey

Primary care staff working in Cobleskill, Schoharie, Sharon Springs, Delanson and Middleburgh also collected $365 in cash and some oral hygiene products. All donations were given to the food bank located at the First Baptist Church in Cobleskill.  

According to Feeding America, it is estimated that in 2018 more than 11% of people in Schoharie County suffer from food insecurity; more than 20% of children struggle with food insecurity. Food insecurity has negative long-term effects on an individual's health, placing them at greater risk for serious health conditions, especially if they have already been diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes or hypertension. In children, hunger can lead to growth impairment, poor academic performance, behavioral issues, sickness, social disorders, and more.

"We are extremely proud of our very generous staff," Callahan says with pride. "This is additional proof of how big the hearts of our essential workers are. We intend to hold more drives in the future to support other Schoharie County food pantries. We invite the rest of our Bassett family to do the same."

There are collection boxes in Schoharie health centers to accept donations at any time.