Selkirk, NY—March 17, 2014—When CSX's Albany Division employees learned food supplies were running low at food pantries in and around Selkirk, NY, members of the Inclusion Council sprang into action. Thanks to their hard work and generosity, the cupboards are not bare—or even close to it.
"We were looking for a new challenge in 2014," said Bridget Crowley, general clerk at the Selkirk Terminal. "Then we learned the food bank needed help. Albany Division Manager John Gaylord had a CSX intermodal container placed in our parking lot and challenged us to collect the equivalent of that container's worth of food."
The team positioned food pantry collection containers throughout Selkirk Terminal and put out the word to local suppliers of goods and services that donations were appreciated. Employees even contributed their own boxes of food, while others donated cash for food purchases. Food bank personnel came to the yard regularly to weigh, wrap and deliver food to the area pantries, and to thank employees for their hard work.
"We hung a banner — 'CSX Cares about the Community' — to keep the campaign alive," Bridget said. "The outpouring of help was overwhelming; it caught on like wildfire. The food bank people were so happy, they couldn't thank us enough."
More than 2,700 pounds of food was eventually collected. Additionally, CSX chipped in a $20,000 donation to the food bank. Angie Pender-Fox, director of Albany-based Food Pantries for the Capital District, said $16,000 would buy 100,000 pounds of food, a strong start to the organization's yearly average of 2 million pounds of food distributed. "It's just an unbelievable amount of support from CSX," she said. "The donation was incredibly generous, and our pantries benefitted tremendously."
Natasha Pernicka, executive director of the organization, also praised CSX's generosity. "We are very thankful for the generosity of CSX and the local employees," she said. "As we strive to feed our hungry neighbors, community support is what makes our work possible."
The food drive was just the latest example of ongoing generosity of Albany Division employees. During the Christmas season, employees collected more than $1,500 for Unity Sunshine House for disadvantaged children. Inclusion Council members and yard employees also donated gifts.