Lansing at Large: Residents affected by shut-down find community support

Government workers have access to free food thanks to local pantry


A $4,500 donation from the citizens of Lansing to the Lansing Food Pantry, via the Lansing Community Council, is helping families of local Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees cope with the affects of the government shut-down.

Five families took advantage of the offer Jan. 21, according to new Pantry Director Toni Adams, up from four the prior week. There are 15 TSA employees in all. Adams said that she hopes that, as word circulates among the affected employees, more will come to help feed their families until they receive their next paycheck. The Food Pantry will be open to them to accommodate their work schedules.

“Just last week on Saturday, I was sitting on my couch watching the news and they were showing the TSA workers and I got the idea,” Adams said.

“We contacted (Lansing Town Supervisor) Ed LaVigne about who we could get ahold of at the airport and he directed us to (Airport Director) Mike Hall,” Adams said. “We wanted to offer our support while these families are not getting their paychecks. This is our second week doing this and we’ve committed to supporting them during the shutdown.”

Adams is counting on the first set of recipients spreading the word at the airport about how easy the process is.

“We’re hopeful we can get them to come get some food,” she said.

The donation is helping the pantry stock up for the new demand.

“We had the mobile pantry just two days before and the pantry was basically down to no meat, no eggs, none of the staples,” Adams said. “So, we went out and purchased more at the Lansing Market and Tops. That donation went to support these people.”

Hall and the families offered to help with the Food Pantry in the future, including setting up a food drive at the airport and coming to help with the weekly distributions, Adams said.

Adams took over the Food Pantry from long-time director Nancy Myers on Jan. 1.

“I am still in the learning stages,” she said. “I retired from Cargill in September of 2017 and so started volunteering with my cousin at the Pantry. I didn’t think that I would like it but then I fell in love with it.”

In 2018, the Food Pantry had 2,501 visits from people in need of staples to supplement their food budgets. The Lansing organization is part of the Foodbank of the Southern Tier, an organization that was started in 1980 by two Catholic Charities employees in Elmira and now encompasses more than 160 partner agencies, including food pantries, meal programs, shelters, after-school programs, and senior programs.

The Foodbank estimates that, in Tompkins Country, one in seven individuals are at risk of hunger, including one in five children. Across the county, 21 partner agencies, like the Lansing Food Pantry, provide 1.3 million of the 2.6 million meals estimated to be needed each year, including about 380,000 pounds of fresh produce among the nearly 1.6 million pounds of food delivered.

Those wanting to continue Lansing’s support of this work can send donations to the Lansing Food Pantry at P.O. Box 21, Lansing, NY 14882. For information about when and what to donate, you can contact the food pantry at 379-7245, or at

According to The Foodbank, $25 will provide 75 meals, $50 will buy 300 pounds of fresh produce, $75 will put backpacks on the backs of 25 hungry children, and $100 means 300 meals.

The next food pantry in Lansing will be Feb. 11 from 10 to 11 a.m. at The Rink.


STEAM Program Underway
The fourth annual “Warm Up Your Winter with STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) extravaganza is coming to Lansing Schools starting Feb. 1.

Sponsored by the Lansing Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO), STEAM promotes hands-on workshops, activities, and learning opportunities for the entire school district.

Mark your calendar with these upcoming dates and visit the PTSO website and Facebook page for more information.

  • Feb. 1–28: R.C. Buckley Elementary School “Feed the Robot” Box Tops contest
  • Feb. 9: LHS STEAM Day from 11am to 2pm
  • Feb. 9: LMS STEAM Day at 2:45-5pm- Registration Required
  • Feb. 28: Buckley STEAM Family Coding Night
  • Feb. 25-28: Buckley Math-a-thon
  • TBD: Observatory Night @ Fuertes Observatory

Music teachers to give recital
A new organization of four Lansing music instructors will launch their new effort with a concert at the First Congregational Church, 309 Highland Road in Ithaca, Feb. 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. A reception will follow.

MEDLNY (Music Educators of Lansing New York) is a local group of private and public music teachers that are committed to enriching the music education of their students and community. The group is made up of guitar tutor Bob Keefe, piano instructors Rachel Hidlay and Susan Vansickle, and flute teacher Julia Phillips. For more information, write

Blood drive
The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at Homewood Suites on Jan. 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To encourage donations in a time of need, the Red Cross will give each donor a $5 Dunkin’ gift card and a t-shirt.

Walk-ins are welcome; however, the Red Cross provides online registration and appointments to speed the process. You can learn more at 1-800-RED-CROSS or by going to


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