Would you pay $15.50 to get a package of 12 quality meat and grocery items, really valued at $25 or more? Of course, and the Food Bank of Central New York offers this value with its service called Food $en$e.
Food $en$e is a monthly food distribution program for individuals and families who want help stretching their monthly food budget.
"Food $en$e is a great program because not only are customers getting an excellent value month after month, they are also getting excellent product," said Andrew Katzer. "As the Food Services Director, it's my job to ensure that every item in the Food $en$e package is fresh, nutritious and high-quality. I strive to give the customer more bang for their buck and packages and specials are created based on customer feedback. The program only works if families like and want what is being offered."
Here's how it works. Once each month, people in Baldwinsville who want to participate simply sign-up at Canton Woods Senior Center (76 Canton St. in the village), pre-paying $15.50 in cash (or food stamps) for the food package. Later in the month, when the food package is ready to be picked up, the customers return to the center for their delivery.
"Let's face it. Times are still extremely hard for many families - even those with two incomes," said Tom Slater, the Food Bank's Executive Director. "Housing, childcare and medical care expenses often take priority over food. That's where Food $en$e can help."
Anyone wishing to extend their household's food budget is eligible. There are not any restrictions on the number of Food $en$e packages one can buy - purchase one, two or 10 packages. Most families choose to order two to three packages each.
Every Food $en$e package includes the following:
Meat items (four to five), such as quality boneless/skinless chicken breasts, beef patties, Italian sausage and fish fillets. A variety of staple items (four to five) are also included, including grain items such as boxes of spaghetti, long-grain rice or egg noodles, and staples like eggs and cans of soup. Fresh fruits and vegetables (two) are included such as cauliflower, baby cut carrots, grape tomatoes or salad mix.