LOWVILLE The Lowville Food Pantry now has its own tax-exempt status, which should make it eligible for more funding programs.
It opens the doors more, said Daniel N. Taylor, chief executive officer of the pantry, located at 7646 Forest Ave.
The organization, previously operated under the auspices of the Lowville Council of Churches, became a separate entity in October 2011, said Mr. Taylor.
However, it had maintained its federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status through that religious organization until a few weeks ago, when it received notification it had attained its own exempt status, he said.
It took a little over a year to get our 501(c)(3), Mr. Taylor said, adding the status was granted from the state via a letter received last weekend.
The new, non-religious exempt designation should allow pantry officials to seek funding and other assistance through more state and federal sources, including U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, as well as some charitable organizations, he said.
That is important, as more and more local families depend on the organization to get by, said Mr. Taylor.
Our numbers have been progressively going up since the middle of last summer, he said.
The Lowville Food Pantry assisted 246 families in December and 240 in January, said Mr. Taylor. However, he suggested last months figure would have been higher likely in the 250 to 260 range had the pantry not been closed five weekdays during that month.
Mr. Taylor attributed the influx of pantry customers to long-term unemployment and cutbacks to benefits in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
Theyve got to come somewhere for help, he said.
For more information about the Lowville Food Pantry, call 376-7431.