Volunteers helping out at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York

LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Some of the NEWS10 ABC team volunteered at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York on Friday.

It’s all part of Founder’s Day of Caring.

The place runs on the work of volunteers from all over without their hard work, food would never make it from the box to the dinner table of a family in need.

“There is a tremendous need for food and other items not only in our area but in America in general,” Ellie Zehnder, volunteer coordinator, said.

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is situated in a quiet corner of Latham, but its impact is as massive as the facility itself.

The bank serves 23 counties from Albany to Plattsburgh, making it the largest in New York.

The building is fully equipped with food, home goods, toiletries, and even a massive freezer where employees sort frozen goods at -3 degree temperatures.

The bank acts as a middle man between agencies and families in need, but they distribute more than just food.

“A pet shelter can just order cat and dog food if that’s what they need. Or a pregnant and parenting teen center can order the diapers and baby items,” Zehnder said.

More than 14,000 volunteers came to the food bank last year alone to lend a hand, and Ellie says their work is pivotal.

“We are a nonprofit organization ourselves so we do not have the funding for all the work volunteers do here.”

Mahoney came out with his mom to volunteer in the offices on Friday.

“I feel pretty good about myself,” Mahoney said.

“It is so satisfying. The work we do. It is very difficult and hard work. There can be very long days but I always leave fulfilled knowing I made an impact on our community,” Zehnder said.

Last year, the food bank serviced over 350,000 people in the community, but they always need more volunteers.

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