This is a community announcement from the Friendship Donations Network. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements, please send them to Matt Butler at

Friendship Donations Network (FDN) will celebrate its 35th anniversary from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Ithaca Farmers Market with food, awards, games, and an FDN song composed by Ithaca’s Jan Nigro. Find details and RSVP at

FDN’s volunteers and the community are all invited to this free event that marks a milestone in our 35 years of rescuing food and reducing hunger in our community. Sara Pines founded the organization in 1988 and recruited its first volunteers to collect unsaleable, but still-good food from local supermarkets and local growers, so it would be redistributed to food pantries and food-relief programs. 

Over the years, her efforts have grown to include nearly 100 volunteers who pick up and distribute food every day in partnership with 50 food distribution partners in Tompkins and surrounding counties. Each week, their efforts provide over 2,000 people with nutritious food and divert over 1,000 pounds of good food from heading to a landfill every day. 

The 2-hour party is the first time since the COVID pandemic that FDN has brought together its volunteers, food distribution partners and donors to honor their contributions. 

Look for some special attractions at the party, including:

  • Handmade appreciation potholders created by volunteers in partnership with the Community Quilting Center.
  • A sing-along of a special FDN song written and performed by Jan Nigro.
  • Booths hosted by 25 of FDN’s community partners.
  • Raffles with food-themed prizes.
  • Garden Harvest Swap – bring veggies to share from your garden and/or take some home.
  • Informational displays of food use-by dating, the new NYS Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law.