Current Newsletter

Our fall newsletter was mailed in mid-September.  If you would like to be on our mailing list, or removed from our mailing list, please email information to

MISSION: Foothills Rural Community Ministry is to respond with care and concern to rural persons and families in need by providing information, assistance and support – and to build a community through our activities.

When we think about ministry, we typically think about those whose needs are not being met, their physical and temporal needs. We think about the hungry, the poor, the sick. Foothills doesn't have much in the way of helping the sick, but a cursory look at our programs can show how we serve the hungry and poor.

The most visible ministry is the food pantry. It is our largest and most costly program. The pantry serves people from the towns of Deerfield, Floyd, Marcy Remsen, Russia, Trenton, Steuben and Western. More than 1350 people were served by our pantry last year. This is a number that has stayed consistent over the last ten years. The folks served can be divided into roughly three groups:

        1/3 are regular monthly visitors, almost exclusively seniors with low incomes and disabled people. These folks struggle with insufficient fixed incomes. Most are considered “clients for years.”

        1/3 temporary extenuating circumstances like sickness, loss of job, etc. These folks will be regulars for two to six months, typically three or four visits per year.

        1/3 catastrophe, one-time visitors. Quite often these folks qualify for longer term help but don't feel deserving or the need to get aid. Typically, these people visit when a car breaks down, a refrigerator dies, etc.

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”  ~Anne Lamott

MINISTRY: Foothills depends on the community to provide for our neighbors. We do receive grants but most of what we provide comes in the form of donations: time, money, products, services and from businesses, groups and people like you. Community generosity allows us to serve folks outside the margins.

It is important that we serve with dignity. Pantry guests are able to shop for foods that their families will enjoy, having options for proteins, starches and fats that suit individual tastes.

     It is important that our volunteers have the same dignity; serving others is good for our psyches. We try to make it easy for new neighbors to join our ranks and participate however they can. There are opportunities to volunteer every week. The pantry needs folks to work with our clients, unloading food deliveries, carrying up and down stairs, stocking shelves and picking up items from businesses. Programs depend on volunteers. See how you can help today!


HUNGER: September was Hunger Action Month. Every month is hunger action at Foothills but it is important to understand our local need. According to most recent USDA Food Environment Atlas, 13.3% of households in Oneida County are food insecure. That is a 2% increase from the prior survey. Nearly 10% of children in this county are food insecure. USDA defines food security as “access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.”
     Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. It may reflect a household's need to make trade-offs between important basic needs like medical bills, housing, transportation or heat – and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods. Healthy bodies and minds require nutritious meals at every age. Inconsistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food can have a negative impact on the health of individuals at all ages. Hunger and health can be depicted as a cycle. Food insecure households are forced to engage coping strategies, including purchase of cheap foods high in calories but low in nutrition. Reliance on less healthy food leads to poor nutrition and chronic diet-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In turn, chronic illnesses worsen existing disabilities or illnesses or result in inability to work and increased healthcare costs, further restricting household budgets. Once a person or family enters the cycle, it can be difficult to escape.
     Food insecurity has potential for harm at any age but it can be especially devastating to children. In particular, inadequate nutrition can permanently alter children's brain architecture and stunt intellectual capacity, affecting learning, social interaction and productivity. They may be at greater risk for stunted development, anemia & asthma and oral health problems. Food insecurity is linked with poorer physical quality of life, preventing full engagement in daily activities. At school, food insecure children are at increased risk of falling behind their peers both academically and socially.  Food insecurity is linked to lower reading and math skills and children are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems.

     Hunger is a bigger challenge during the summer months when kids don't have access to school breakfasts and lunches. As many as 40 extra meals per child per family per month must be provided.

     Foothills, with a generous grant donation from Indium Corporation, is able to provide what we call the Summer Bag Program. This allows us to support families above and beyond our usual supplements. In July and August we were able to provide 190 bags, filled with foods, toiletries and an activity book for each child of pantry client families.

 Programs of Foothills Rural Community Ministry

Food Pantry

Country Corner Thrift Shop

Sarah's Pet Pantry

Christmas Baskets

Park Coffee House

Food Sense Groceries

Back to School Backpack Project

Trenton Farmers Market

Yoga For Food


Foothills Rural Community Ministry is a coalition of area churches, people and organizations serving the needy in our rural area of Central New York.  Foothills leases space from the Presbyterian Church for its nonprofit organization.

PO Box 156, 7835 Church Street

Holland Patent, NY 13354

Located in the First Presbyterian Church House                            (twin churches, right side) 


Contributions are always needed and appreciated.  Please detach and enclose with any contribution you would like to make to Foothills Rural Community Ministry.  A self-addressed envelope is included for your convenience.



In honor/memory of: _______________________ Amount:________

We also accept donations through PayPal.

Upcoming Events:

Christmas Basket sign-ups Oct. 2 – Nov 21

Hunger Walk Oct. 20

Park Coffee House Nov. 9, Nov. 23, Dec. 7

Christmas Baskets Distribution Dec. 14 & 15

Wine Tasting Fundraiser Jan. 19

Foothills Annual Meeting Jan. 26


Monthly Schedule:

Council meetings every 2nd Monday at 7:00 pm

Food Pantry, Sarah’s Pet Pantry, and Country Corner Thrift Shop are open on:

The first 3 Saturdays of every month 9:00 -1:00

The 4th Thursday of every month 9:00 – 1:00

The first Wednesday of every month 4:00 – 6:00

(The Thrift Shop is NOT open on Wednesdays)

Food Sense orders due Nov. 2, pick up Nov. 22& 23

     Due Dec. 7, pick up on Dec. 20 & 21


For more detailed information please visit our

Facebook:  Foothills Rural Community Ministry

Or call the office:  315-865-5854

FRCM, Trenton Farmers Market and The Park Coffee House all have Facebook pages, which are updated regularly with news and volunteer opportunities.