MEXICO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Mexico Food Pantry helps feed hundreds of families every month, but someone stole food from the pantry’s drop box, which allows community members to donate items 24/7.

The food pantry gives 21 meals of supplemental free food every month to any person or family within the Mexico School District. Food is also available to anyone in need of emergency food.

Martha Sturtz has been the pantry coordinator for the last 12 years. She said the drop box was stocked with donations on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

However, when she arrived at the pantry on Sunday morning, she found the door wide open and many of the items were gone. Some of the food even had to be thrown out because it was exposed to bad weather.

“We give food to whoever asks. It’s not a problem, so I don’t know why they would do that.”

MARTHA STURTZ, COORDINATOR, MEXICO FOOD PANTRY

The Oswego County Sheriff’s Office has looked into who’s responsible for taking the food, but the act is not considered a break-in because the drop box is unlocked at all times. Sturtz and the other volunteers are looking into ways to secure donations moving forward.

Thankfully, there was no damage to the food pantry’s main building. Some of the donations from the community have already been restocked.

It’s disappointing, but we’ll get by and people will step forward. They already have. I’ve had people give us cash donations. I just had somebody call asking when they can drop a check off. We have a huge support system.

MARTHA STURTZ, COORDINATOR, MEXICO FOOD PANTRY

The Mexico Food Pantry is depending on your continued support, especially with record-high inflation and volunteers trying to keep up with the growing demand.

To put that need in perspective, the pantry served 1,203 families in 2022. Already this year, the pantry is helping 1,357 families with more expected in December.

“When I took over the pantry, I decided I had to change the old way of thinking that people who came to a pantry were lazy or homeless or drug addicts or whatever, when it’s not,” Sturtz explained. “It’s just normal people trying to make ends meet.”

Below is a list of the items the Mexico Food Pantry is in need of:

  • SOUPS
  • CRACKERS
  • MIXES
  • CONDIMENTS
  • SEASONINGS
  • CEREALS
  • DESSERTS
  • HYGIENE ITEMS
  • PASTA
  • POTATOES
  • PEANUT BUTTER
  • CANNED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
  • CANNED BEANS
  • CANNED PROTEINS
  • CANNED MEALS
  • DRINK MIXES
  • KID SNACKS

The Mexico Food Pantry also welcomes monetary donations. This allows volunteers to buy needed food items at a reduced cost from the Food Bank of Central New York. Interested in donating? Click here.

You can also learn more about The Mexico Food Pantry and its mission by clicking here.