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Otsego and Delaware County assistance programs.

Emergency financial aid and resources

Depending on annual funding and allotments, the government emergency Food and Shelter Program is an option for the less fortunate. Families may receive food, housing, and grants to pay utility bills. The United Way of Delaware/Otsego Counties helps administer it, but the money goes to and is disbursed by local non-profits. Some of the places to contact for information are below.

  • St. James Food Pantry and Feeding Site - Oneonta, New York
  • Salvation Army Food Pantry and Meal Site - Oneonta, New York. Offers numerous social services, including a pantry, holiday assistance, and funds for rent or heating bills. (607) 432-5960
  • Worcester Food Program - Worcester, New York
  • St. Mary's Food Pantry - Oneonta, NY. Focuses on offering canned goods and meals for children and seniors. 432-3920
  • Walton Food Pantry - Walton, NY
  • Opportunities for Otsego, Emergency Housing Program - Oneonta, NY. Eviction prevention and rental assistance is the focus.
  • Delaware Opportunities, Emergency Services Program - Hamden, NY. (607) 746-1600
  • The Community Pantry - Margaretville, New York

The Regional Food Bank of Northeast New York supports local pantries and churches in Delaware County. They also work with the Emergency Food Pantry Network, as noted below. Normally up to 4 days worth of groceries may be provided to those without money or food for their families. Donations from individuals and community organizations are always required. The main center is in Hamden and is based at 35430 State Highway 10. Dial 607-746-1685 for information and referrals to local pantries.

  • Presbyterian Church, 70 Delaware Ave, Andes, New York 13731, Hours: Tuesday 11am-1pm
  • Colchester area is supported by Methodist Church, Main Street, Downsville, NY 13755.
  • Near the Town Hall on Route 23, Davenport, NY 13750.
  • Food pantry is based at 91 Second St, Deposit, NY 13754.
  • United Ministry Church, Courthouse Square, Delhi NY 13753, food bank hours Monday+ Thursday  1:00-3:00
  • Methodist Church, East Branch, New York 13756
  • Father Rausch Memorial Hall, West Main St, Hancock, New York 13783
  • N Kortright Presbyterian Church food bank, Kortright, NY 13842
  • Margaretville, 42838 State Hwy 28 Suite 2, Margaretville, NY 12455
  • Federated Church, Masonville, New York 13804
  • United Methodist Church, Main St, Roxbury, NY 12474
  • United Methodist Church pantry also has another location based at 12 Liberty St, Sidney, New York 13838.




Some of the pantries, often partnering with the community action agency (see below) provide a hot, nutritious noon time meal to senior citizens. If you can’t make it to a site, then home delivered meals are available as well.

Community action agencies support the low income and people facing poverty. There are two separate non-profits to call, depending on what county you live in. The Opportunities for Otsego (OF), Inc. is located at 3 West Broadway, Oneonta, New York 13820-2552. Call (607) 433-8000. The other location is Delaware Opportunities Inc. Address 35430 State Hwy. 10, Hamden, NY 13782-1112. Phone (607) 746-1600.

Emergency services are offered, usually by referrals. Advocates from the community action agencies can provide, or refer people to assistance. Aid is for families and individuals faced with a crisis. The case worker can advise you of your rights, available resources and assist you in finding services.

Family development and self-sufficiency is for low income families. Receive guidance in creating a goal plan and also work towards self-sufficiency. The community action agency also supports families and provides them with information, encouragement and referrals. Learn about job training in the Otsego County region, sign up for credit repair workshops, and similar support.

Children of income eligible families can apply for Head Start. It is a program created to help with and address emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs. Parents need to be involved too.

Head Start will implement an educational program for the parents and their children. It will help create a positive outlook toward education, health care, and self-concept. It can be held in your home or school, and in some cases transportation may be provided. Components of it include.





Nutrition, such as breakfast and lunch daily. Health care and education. Early identification and attention for medical needs includes free dental, medical, mental health and nutrition care. Family services are focused on the parents, and they can learn about resources and get referrals to programs in Delaware County and across New York.

Your community action agency also processes applications for the New York Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP. There is both a regular component and grants for people facing a disconnection of their heat or utilities. Find more community action agency programs.

Housing and subsidized rent is offered by section 8 and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Very low income, formerly homeless and poor families can get help paying their rent. They will still need to contribute as much as 30% of their income towards it, but it is one more possible resource to help with housing needs. Section 8 in New York often has a waiting list, and staff from the Otsego County and Delaware area can help families navigate this process.

The Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Program is known as the HOME Program. It can help property owners make basic and emergency repairs to their home. The assistance may be offered in the form of a loan or grant.

Weatherization applications are processed by the community action agency. This federal program is also created as a means of improving the heating efficiency of homes. It can be done to produce fuel savings in the homes of disabled, low income, and the elderly.

Foreclosure and budgeting counseling workshops are offered in Otsego County. Specialists from the non-profit offer counseling for first time homebuyers and assistance in applying for mortgages. Get information on low interest loans for down payment or paying closing costs. Free foreclosure counseling is offered too, as well as information on reverse mortgages for homeowners over 62. Click New York mortgage programs.

Transportation is provided by Delaware Opportunities Inc to individuals or patients on Medicaid. The ride needs to be for health related appointments or emergencies. Also, some form of and transportation is also available for low income people without vehicles if they need to get to say a job interview.

Wheels to Work is a transportation program that can help income eligible households. Cars may be provided to help them get to and from work. The transportation program assists low-income adults in finding and maintaining employment. It can pay for the repair, purchase, or even registration of a car.

Emergency Housing can help residents facing imminent eviction or the homeless in Otsego or Delaware County. It can help them find or pay the rent on affordable housing. In some cases there may be money for paying some of the moving costs or security deposit due to the landlord. In addition, the community action agency may offer eviction prevention and housing location, shelter, counseling and referrals to community services.

All of those resources listed above are offered by either Delaware Opportunities Inc. (telephone (607) 746-1600) or the Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. (phone (607) 433-8000).





OFO also administers a separate list of services for residents of Otsego County only. One of the main objectives is to end the cycle of poverty and help families become self-sufficient. More on Opportunities for Otsego programs.

Delaware County Department of Social Services can direct families to numerous government and public aid programs. Examples can include WIC, food stamps, or public housing. Medical needs can also be addressed, such as immunization as well as information on affordable health insurance. They also a  great place to learn about public health care or insurance plans, such as Medicaid. Call 607-832-5300, or find other help for financial needs.

Delaware County Office for the Aging is for people over the age of 55 to 60. The center may serve congregate meals and hold activities for seniors, both recreational and others. So people can enjoy the company of others their age or take informational classes on programs such as Medicare. They also have referrals and information on financial assistance programs. Call 607-746-6333.

By Jon McNamara














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