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Herkimer BOCES Pathways Academy donates food to local veterans

Dec. 17, 2018




Pathways Academy students, Joe Ancona from Feed Our Vets and Patrick Corrigan with food donations


Joseph Ancona, an Army veteran and director of the Feed Our Vets Utica pantry, accepts more than 500 nonperishable food items donated on Monday, Dec. 17, by the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington in Ilion. From left, in front: Pathways Academy Student Council member Zach Maida, of Poland; Pathways Student Council member Brandon Sorce, of Poland; Pathways Student Council member Curtis Walker, of Mount Markham; Ancona; Pathways student Kodi Wellington, of West Canada Valley, and Herkimer BOCES Principal of Alternative Education Patrick Corrigan. From left, in back: Pathways student Preston Fonda, of Poland, and Storm Baker, of Owen D. Young.





ILION – The Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington collected more than 500 nonperishable food items to donate to local veterans through the Feed Our Vets organization.

Joseph Ancona, an Army veteran and director of the Feed Our Vets Utica pantry, attended the Monday, Dec. 17, morning assembly at the Pathways Academy, which is in the former Remington elementary school in Ilion, to accept the donations.

“You did an amazing job with this, let me tell you,” Ancona said, to students. “Every veteran who is going to eat this food, they obviously thank you as well.”

The newly established Pathways Academy Student Council helped organize the collection of the nonperishable food items for donation. There was a competition among grade levels, and grades 11-12 won first place, with 9-10 in second and 7-8 in third.

The Pathways Academy focuses on students who have had a difficult time in a traditional school structure or have to catch up on credits but have the ability to get a high school diploma. Pathways Academy classes are project-driven and infuse career and technical education.

The Feed Our Vets Utica pantry has now distributed more than 1 million pounds of food to local veterans since opening about 10 years ago – including about 230,000 pounds of food last year, Ancona said. The pantry operates through the efforts of 23 volunteers, he said.

Following the morning assembly, some Pathways Academy Student Council members and other students stayed behind to help Ancona load up the donations for transport.

Two of the students who aided with carrying the items were Preston Fonda, of Poland, and Kodi Wellington, of West Canada Valley, and they said it was important to donate food to veterans.

“To help them out,” Fonda said.

“They all fought so we could do the stuff we do, so we might as well give back to them,” Wellington said.


Joe Ancona of Feed Our Vets stands up front of Pathways students and speaks to them


Joseph Ancona, an Army veteran and director of the Feed Our Vets Utica pantry, speaks to students on Monday, Dec. 17, in the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington in Ilion.