Food shelf volunteers honored

ELIZABETHTOWN - One group of people who have set aside extra time to make a positive impact in their community received a pat on the back recently.

Thirty four volunteers from in and around Elizabethtown were recognized at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Parish Hall May 17 for their consistent devotion to supporting the Elizabethtown Community Food Shelf.

The food shelf is an ecclesiastical endeavor by four major churches in Elizabethtown, including St. Elizabeth's, Good Shepherd, St. John's Episcopal in Essex, and UCC churches in both Elizabethtown and Lewis. It serves families primarily in Elizabethtown, Lewis, New Russia, Westport, Willsboro, and Essex.

In 2008, the food shelf doled out more than 13,000 pounds of food to 1,076 individuals in 370 households. The busiest month was in December when nearly 2,500 pounds were distributed.

All of that food is either donated to the food shelf or purchased using monetary donations.

"It shows that people in the community have a lot of love for people in need in this community," said Terry Martin, director of the food shelf.

Elizabethtown Supervisor Noel Merrihew spoke, congratulating volunteers and praising the service they provide.

"The food shelf is an important safety net of community service that we have come to rely on," he said.

Many of the volunteers have been helping with the food shelf for more than a decade. Special awards were given out in memory of Carol Ashton and Maida Heith, two volunteers who had recently passed away, but who had helped with the food shelf for many years.

"Right up until the day she died, she was part of that [food shelf] family," said Sharon Martin of Ashton, "and I don't think we'd be here without her."

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