In their first joint venture since announcing plans for a merger, SEFCU and CAP COM united to fight hunger and brighten the holidays for people in need across New York state.
SEFCU President and CEO Michael Castellana, CAP COM President and CEO Chris McKenna, and employees from both organizations distributed more than $350,000 to nearly 50 food pantries and rescue missions in the Capital Region, and the Binghamton, Buffalo, and Syracuse areas.
SEFCU has been making these donations to pantries and shelters since 2010 as part of its year-round commitment to fighting hunger through financial support for local nonprofits and the funding of solutions that offer greater access to fresh, healthy food for people in need. With CAP COM joining the effort, this year even more nonprofits are benefitting.
“We are both products of the credit union movement which is, ‘people helping people,’ and that’s exactly what we are doing. We know that’s our purpose. We’ve been doing it individually. When we do it as a combined entity, there will be no stopping us,” said Castellana, who added that the need to support our neighbors has never been greater. “When you see a food pantry where there is literally nothing on the shelf, you can’t help but be moved by it. To be able to lead an organization where that is a supported purpose, where that gets people out of bed in the morning. That’s why I do what I do.”
Along with helping food pantries stock shelves, these donations will help local nonprofits provide the services necessary to feed families and individuals.
“Food insecurity is such a crisis and sometimes we forget about the choices that people have to make. People have to choose between eating and paying bills, and that’s a choice that nobody should have to make. Nobody should have to go hungry at night. No student should have to go to school in the morning without being fed,” said CAP COM president and CEO Chris McKenna who also noted that helping those in need has an equally positive impact on those giving their support.
“When I got involved in the CAP COM Cares Foundation or partnering with A group of people posing for a photo Description automatically generated SEFCU and their foundation, it was a game changer. It’s a game changer for the people that you help, but just as importantly, it’s a game changer for people that are engaged.”
For the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, support from the credit unions will have a tangible impact on its ability to feed thousands of people.
Below is a complete list of all missions and food pantries being supported through the donations from SEFCU and CAP COM.
Capital Region: Capital City Rescue Mission, Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, The Food Pantries for the Capital District, Sr. Maureen Joyce Center, St. John’s – St. Anne’s Food Pantry, Cathedral Food Pantry, St. Catherine’s Marillac Family Shelter, South End Children’s Café, VA Food Pantry, Saratoga EOC, Christ Episcopal Church Food Pantry, Catholic Charities – Schoharie, Columbia-Greene, Herkimer, Hilltowns, Fulton-Montgomery, CoNSERNS-U, Roarke Center, Greater Galway Community Services Association.
St. Paul’s Center, City Mission of Schenectady, Bethesda House, Schenectady Inner City Ministry, YWCA Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen, IPH, Captain, Veterans and Community Housing Coalition, Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Hope 7 Food Pantry, Commission on Economic Opportunity and UAlbany Purple Pantry.
Central New York: Rescue Mission Soup Kitchen, Catholic Charities Men’s Shelter, Meals on Wheels of Syracuse, Food Bank of Central New York, Clear Path for Veterans, Syracuse Northeast Community Center, Feed Our Vets, and Samaritan Center
Southern Tier: Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry and Whitney Place Rescue Mission.
Western New York: Buffalo City Mission, Response to Love, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, Compass House and Feed More Western New York.