JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — Over nine tons of food was collected this weekend as part of Chautauqua County’s largest drive to support Jamestown’s only soup kitchen.
Ten years ago Keith Martin, who is now partnered with local basketball coach Dan Keefe, launched what has become an annual tradition to support the St. Susan Center in Jamestown.
This year, the center’s need is at an all-time high with inflation forcing many to make incredibly touch financial decisions, with some deciding whether to purchase groceries or pay their rent.
“The community realizes and feels the pinch at home, but realized they are blessed to be able to put food on the table,” said Keefe. “I don’t think in the years that we’ve been doing this, that there’s actually been a greater need than this year.”
In addition to the pallets of non-perishable foods, $21,000 dollars was also collected over the drive’s three day-span, thanks to the generosity of 1,000s of people from across Chautauqua County.
“They helped their neighbor this weekend, and they’re going to help them all the way through March and April,” explained Martin. “With everything that came in, these donations will get St. Susan’s to March and April.”
The soup kitchen will now spend the next few days sorting through all the donations as they restock their shelves for the year to come.