Community Cupboard History
The "concept" of Irondequoit Community Cupboard, Inc. began in
1995. Debbie Evans, an Irondequoit resident, was an active
volunteer in the East Irondequoit school district and noticed
several children who didn't have enough food to eat and warm
winter clothes to wear. She found that there were many families
living right in her own community who were living without basic
necessities; food, clothes, hygiene items, etc.
What started out as helping a few families in 1995 with a PTA sponsored "Hat, Coat and Boot Exchange" has grown into a New York State not-for-profit organization. The Irondequoit Community Cupboard Inc, established as a "Not for Profit 501c3 Organization" in 2003, proudly assisting an average of 5-9 families per week. We have seen our numbers grow to (on average) 155 households per month. (2014)
Debbie ran the "pantry" out of her home until 2004 when they moved to a shed on the property the Vineyard Christian Fellowship. A year or so later they moved to their current home at 4275 Culver Road where they paid a mortgage while applying for many grants. Their persistence paid off and ICC was able to be purchased through grants securing a place in the community where everyone in need of assistance is welcomed.
Poverty affects everyone! In the last couple of years, there has been an increase in the numbers of people who call Irondequoit Community Cupboard for assistance. With many companies laying off, letting go or closing, there are many displaced workers. They are not making enough money to make ends meet. Some families are working several jobs and some are still not working. Others are seniors (on a fixed income) who have already worked a full life and are retired, but with the rising costs of taxes and medication and utilities would not be able to stay in their homes without our assistance. Most of our families have faced food insecurity many times this year
We are also seeing the needs change. We assist families who do not receive enough food stamps to get them through the end of the month. Food stamps DO NOT include items such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap and deodorant, laundry detergent and cleaning products or feminine hygiene products and paper goods. We are seeing more and more people who come to us for items such as school supplies, birthday cakes, cleaning supplies and and mostly referrals to other agencies.
Town of Irondequoit Demographics
According to the 2000 census, Irondequoit has 52,354 residents. There are
22,276 households. Of these households~1,439 earn less than $10,000 per year.
8,327 are on Social Security earning less than $12,500 per year
382 are on Public Assistance receiving less than $4,100 per year
Irondequoit has 551 families living BELOW Poverty level. We have 2,794 individuals and 766 seniors also living below poverty level.
Founder and President - Debbie Evans
Debbie has been working on this endeavor since 1995 when she began on a much smaller scale of helping children in her school district by making sure their families had enough food to get them through the winter break and warm clothing for the winter months. She was extremely disappointed to find out that the Town of Irondequoit did not have an emergency food pantry of their own. With the help of family, friends, and organizations within the community, Debbie set out to establish a food pantry within the community for residents who are in need of emergency assistance. While waiting and working with the system she ran the pantry our of her home until 2003 when a 501c3 for the Irondequoit Community Cupboard was established.
Debbie counsels, guides and refers individuals with a variety of needs while utilizing her growing knowledge of the social need that exists in our community. She has been an advocate, both in the county, and at the state and federal level where she is tirelessly fighting for her clients. Debbie is married to her husband Doug and they have two sons Jeffrey and Matthew. Debbie also served on the Irondequoit Town Board for four years.
Vice President - Sue Reynolds
Sue is a Registered Nurse who retired in 2006 after a 45 year career in various clinical and management positions. She lives in Irondequoit and enjoys golf, water color painting, travel and volunteer work.
Treasurer - John Kane
John’s association with ICC started with organizing the annual food drives performed by the Irondequoit High School hockey team for ICC. He became significantly more involved when ICC purchased the
current building which needed extensive renovations and improvements. He joined the Board of ICC in 2010.
John has lived in the Rochester area all his life and in Irondequoit for 25 years. He is a self-employed commercial general contractor and oversees all building related issues for ICC. John and his wife Kim live in Irondequoit and they have four grown children who all attended school in Irondequoit.
Secretary - MaryJo Toepfer
Board Member - Reverend Sarah Culp
Sarah lives in Irondequoit with her husband David and their three children. She is employed by the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester Genesee Region as their Youth Ministry Coordinator. She is also one of the founding members of Rythmic Revolution, an organization that uses drums and messages to raise awareness in audience about the issues facing at-risk youth and to motivate it's audiences to become more involved in the community and world through service to others.
Board Member - Cherie Evans
Cherie Evans (no relation to Debbie by the way) moved to
Irondequoit when her husband, Steve, was hired by Kodak in 1977. She has worked at St. John Fisher College since 1977. She read about the Cupboard in the Irondequoit Post/Press and began helping by donating toys at the holidays that she asked her friends to bring to her annual Christmas party. She was a volunteer for three years before she joined the ICC board in Summer 2011. She and Steve have two cats and she likes to garden, bike, and travel.
Board Member - Anne Johnson
Board Member - John Cortinas
Board Member - Lisa Loeser
Phone: (585) 336-9107