By Wendy Post

Fred Trzcinski, executive director of the Tioga United Way, recently announced and presented $1,000 to four separate agencies that serve food to those in need. Checks for $1,000 each, which came from a reserve fund at the Tioga United Way, were presented to Catholic Charities Tioga Outreach Center in Waverly, the Salvation Army, the Community Care Network of Nichols, and the Spencer Van Etten Community Food Cupboard.

According to Trzcinski, the special allocation is to be exclusively utilized for the purchase of food to be distributed to those in need during the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.

Trzcinski also noted that these agencies were selected for utilization of reserve funds based on the needs of the community. "There is no secret about the economy," said Trzcinski, "and agencies have been noting an increase in pantries - especially seniors," he added. "People that have never had to ask for help before have to reach out."

Angela Klopf, director of the Catholic Charities Outreach Center in Waverly, N.Y., was very grateful to receive the $1,000 check from Tioga United Way. According to Klopf, their agency can easily acquire canned goods from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier in Elmira, N.Y., but is not able to get holiday turkeys or hams from them.

"When people look at their budgets and have to cut, food is usually the first thing that goes," said Klopf. "Because of this people aren't eating foods that are nutritious."

Dot Richter, from the Community Care Network of Nichols, N.Y., stated that their special allocation of $1,000 will be utilized to help fund their annual Sharathon - an event that takes place each year on the first Sunday following Thanksgiving in Nichols, N.Y.

Millie Thornton from the Spencer Van Etten Food Cupboard stated that their $1,000 check will go towards food baskets that will be delivered to ten residents in Candor, N.Y. and residents in Spencer Van Etten during the holiday season.

Rick Damore of the Salvation Army will be utilizing the funds to make sure that residents in need in the Newark Valley, Richford and Berkshire, N.Y. areas have food during the holidays.

"We want to make sure their holidays are good," said Damore.

The checks were distributed to agency representatives on Oct. 1 at the Tioga United Way office located in Owego, N.Y. In addition to the reserve fund check, agencies received their third quarter allocation check.

Gigi Horvath, Tioga United Way board president, presented the checks to the agency representatives, and thanked them for all that they do.

As a Literacy Volunteers representative, Horvath has also been a recipient of United Way funds. "I appreciate all that the agencies do for the community," said Horvath during the check presentation.

"I've been on both sides of the table, and I know how much they do," she added.

The 2010 Tioga United Way Campaign is currently underway. To learn more about the Tioga United Way and their 33 member agencies you can visit them on the web at www.tiogaunitedway.com; or call their office at (607) 687-4028.