A New Home for the House Campaign

Donations for “New Home Campaign”

None of us could have imagined all the changes in our lives that we would endure during this pandemic. Who would have predicted that almost 600,000 Americans would perish and that we would still be exercising such cautions well over a year from the first cases in January of 2020.

And who would have predicted that so many people would be unemployed and so many in need of the basics to sustain life? It was not long into 2020 when the numbers of people showing up at the House to ask for food and the long line of cars at our mobile food giveaways would more than double. Double! We went from serving 425 to 920 families monthly!

The Seneca County House of Concern and the people of this county came to the rescue. While the House was closed intermittently during those early months while we figured how to work around quarantining and every-thing from plexiglass shields to disinfecting the House every evening, we put our needy clientele first. Businesses and individuals came forth with extremely generous donations in light of the fact that we were unable to conduct our typical fundraisers. We prevailed and people were helped–in the greatest time of need. Thank you all!

Now we have the opportunity to move into a new space in Waterloo that will increase our opportunities many fold. Our overall space will not only increase by 42% but it will be space that is infinitely more flexible and useable compared to the very old and decrepit buildings we’ve inhabited for over 52 years.

That’s right. For over 52 years, the Seneca County House of Concern has been the center for providing a food pantry, thrift store, clothes closet and second-hand furniture outlet in Seneca County. Thousands upon thousands of families have been helped. And, we all know that, sadly, it is very likely that the need in this county will grow, not shrink. The rate of poverty in the county is 12.2% and 42.7% residents have low to moderate income.

Our new space in Waterloo with its 14,000 square feet will be centrally-located to serve the most who find themselves in poverty. Unlike our current building this new building is structurally sound. We will have a handicap-accessible building that is recently constructed and, as a former grocery store, well-suited to our use. It comes with a large accessible parking lot conveniently located right down-town in Waterloo. We will be able to offer classroom experiences—most likely classes in nutrition, cooking and making little go far.

We’ll be able to host our semi-monthly food giveaways from our own loading dock and we’ll be forging partnerships with the weekly farmers’ market outside our door, and a myriad of organizations dedicated to helping people.

We will be purchasing this building this year. Can you help us, will you help us erase that expense and position the House to face the future head on and best prepared? The cost of the building is $250,000 and we need your help to mark that mortgage “paid in full” as soon as possible.

You may make a one-time donation but may we encourage you to consider a pledge that can be spread over as many as three years and paid in installments that fit your budget? Please give this serious thought and be as generous as you possibly can. Your donation is fully deductible to the fullest extent of the tax laws. Together, let us build a strong House ready and able to meet whatever the future will throw at us.

We welcome your charitable donation, which can be made by sending back the enclosed pledge card, or by going online to make an electronic donation.

A New Home for the House Campaign Printable Donation Form

In sincerest gratitude,
J. Brad Benson
The Rev. J. Brad Benson, campaign chair
A New Home for the House Campaign
bradbenson28@hotmail.com 607-329-9802

Canal Crawl – We Need Your Help – New Announcements


What you Need to Know!
  • T-Shirt deadline is coming up quickly – Register by 8/1/18 to receive a t-shirt.
  • This is a fun family activity or a great team building event for employees/co-workers as well as social clubs and youth groups.
  • Pay your registration fee now and the remaining amount later
  • You can raise your registration contributions through pledges.
  • The person who raises the most money wins a Kindle Fire HD 10 tablet.
  • Children 12 and under participate for free if paddling with parent or guardian.
  • There are discounted rates for teams of 4 and students.
  • Generous donors have offered donation pledges for the first 10 students who register.
  • There is a scavenger hunt along the way and picnic lunch at the finish.

Please help this be the best Canal Crawl yet! Participants are strongly encouraged to raise their entry fees by asking family, friends, and co-workers to donate pledge money leading up to event day! The more pledge dollars you raise the more people the Seneca County House of Concern can help! AND you could win the prize. Get a group of co-workers, friends or family together and join the Seneca County House of Concern to be a part of the solution to fight hunger in Seneca County.

Can’t participate this year?
There are other ways you can help!


  • Help us spread the word about the event on social media.
  • Encourage others to participate.
  • Sponsor a friend, family member, student or a co-worker.
  • Lend your kayak to someone who doesn’t have one.
  • Buy raffle tickets to win our event raffle item – A Go-Pro 11′ Inflatable Paddle Board package.

Because of the generosity of our 2018 annual sponsors, BonaDent Dental Laboratories and Waterloo Container, as well as event sponsors, Finger Lakes Radio Group and Trac Team, 100% of the proceeds will go toward serving the Seneca County House of Concern’s Mission: “To help those in need with basic necessities such as food, clothes, and household items and to treat everyone with dignity and respect.”


Canal Crawl Coloring Contest Announced

Name & Color the Creatures for a Chance to Win a Toy!

Download the coloring sheet and print by clicking the link:
Canal Crawl Coloring Sheet 2018

Even if you or your child are not participating in Canal Crawl Paddling Poverty we are inviting children to enter our Coloring Contest for a chance to win a toy.

To participate:
Download the coloring sheet above. Coloring sheets are also available at the Seneca Falls Library at 47 Cayuga Street, Seneca Falls and the Waterloo Library, 31 E. William Street, Waterloo. Please complete and return to the library no later than August 13th and or mail to Seneca County House of Concern, 35 State Street, Seneca Falls, NY 13148. Good luck!




Food for Thought – Summer 2018

Hello Friends!

As Executive Director I’d like to share with you the most recent happenings at Seneca County House of Concern (SCHOC). First and foremost, thank you for your unwavering support of our agency and the vulnerable populations we serve. The organization certainly would not be on the footing it stands on today without your support, commitment and energy.

Since our last newsletter we have continued to serve hundreds of in need residents who live in Seneca County. Calendar year to date we have served over 55,000 meals and moved over 89 tons of food through our doors and directly to families in need.

A special thank you to the community and businesses for your support of our fundraiser, The Traveling Little Black Dress. This annual event has now raised over $70,000 in the span of six years. All of our fundraisers help us raise much needed resources to assist us in assisting our clients and there are three exciting events at Seneca County House of Concern this summer. We have our Color Run – Kids Helping Kids coming up on Saturday, June 16th, 2018. We are in the midst of our annual Need to Feed Campaign, and we are ramping up for our Canal Crawl on Saturday, August 18th, 2018.

Our Thrift Store has tried various special sales and will be expanding its hours to include extended hours one night (TBD) a week and monthly Saturday sales through year-end. The Thrift store has also been able to help on average 11 families per month with nonfood items such as clothing, furniture and housewares. Keep us in mind when looking for a new home for some of your things – especially furniture! Come shop in our store and support the food pantry at the same time!

Please continue to follow us on our website and on Facebook to keep up with our latest news, events, and fundraisers.

Wishing you peace and warmth!
Olan Mack

Need to Feed Challenge 2018 Launched

Pictured from L to R – Larry Driscoll, Irene Ferrante, Kristen Bryan, and Olan Mack.

Thank you Trinity Episcopal Church of Seneca Falls for launching our Need to Feed Challenge with your generous donation!

Press Release – June 1, 2018 –

For the past four years, the Seneca County House of Concern’s Need to Feed Challenge has been an important element in keeping the organization’s food pantry stocked and the non-profit agency equipped to help those with food insecurity in our local communities as well as bring awareness to the needs of our neighbors.

The need in Seneca County remains steady with approximately 10.7 % of residents struggling with food insecurity. These are children who go to bed hungry, senior citizens who decide between buying groceries and purchasing medication, and parents who do without, so their children can have enough to eat. In 2017 the House of Concern served an average of 400 households monthly which amounted to nearly 175,000 meals for the year.  There have also been recent challenges with necessary building and equipment repairs as well as ever increasing operational expenses.

Every year a generous group of sponsors agree to set up a fund to be matched by individual donations. Trinity Episcopal Church in Seneca Falls helped kick off the challenge again this year with a check for $3,450.00. To build the sponsor fund, Trinity has joined with other churches, including The First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls, Calvary Lutheran Church and The United Methodist Churches in both Seneca Falls and Waterloo, as well as many individuals.

Committee chair, Larry Driscoll reports “We are currently at $10,000. We are now reaching out to the community through a mailing to match the sponsor donations. Every donation of food (at $1 per can) or money received will also be counted towards our total.”

More information and the status of the challenge fund can be found at the houseofconcern.org website and on Facebook. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to: Seneca County House of Concern 33-35 State Street, Seneca Falls NY 13148. When writing a check or dropping off food items, indicate that you wish it to be part of the Need for Feed Challenge.  Donations can also be made via PayPal online at houseofconcern.org. Please specify Need to Feed.

Thank you to all of our sponsors!

Another Successful Show for the Books!

The sixth annual fashion show and luncheon, titled The Traveling Little Black Dress… “goes Disco”, took place on Friday, April 20th and Saturday, April 21st, 2018 at the Seneca Falls Country Club.

The Traveling Little Black Dress Fashion Show & Luncheon is an annual spring fundraiser for the Seneca County House of Concern. The creator of the show, Sharon Hoatland, brought the idea to the Board of Directors in 2012, with the first annual event being held in May of 2013.  Since its inception , this annual event has been a significant fundraiser to keep the food pantry stocked and operational helping our neighbors in Seneca County with food insecurity. It has exceeded a grand total of $70,000.00 in funding over six years.

The fun began at 11:00 a.m. with raffles and shopping opportunities provided by local businesses. At 11:30 the doors opened and attendees were treated to a soup and salad luncheon and another delightful show.

Every year the fashion show not only features local models who are local friends, business colleagues and neighbors, it highlights outfits and accessories from local retailers. And there is always some fun and shenanigans while the models “strut their stuff”. Below are some pictures from the 2018 show.

Announcing the 2019 Show Dates:

Remember, when you support The Traveling Little Black Dress Fashion Show, you are helping to feed the hungry in Seneca County.