Watertown family awarded for organizing food pantries during COVID-19

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Left to right: Senator Patty Ritchie, Leah Phillips, Logan Phillips, Trevor Phillips

(Office of Senator Patty Ritchie)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — A local family is being recognized for their efforts to help the community during the pandemic.

Trevor Phillips and his two daughters, Leah and Logan were recently awarded the New York State Senate’s Commendation Award for organizing food pantries in the city of Watertown.

Specifically, in April of 2020 both Leah and Logan expressed their concerns for those unable to work during the pandemic and food insecurity. The family then set up a food pantry in their front yard in Watertown, where people could take what they needed. The pantry also received contributions from friends, family, area residents and local businesses.

After seeing its success, the Phillips then organized an additional food pantry event, which was held in the Watertown Savings Bank parking lot. Trevor Phillips, who is a New York State corrections officer, brought a team of colleagues from the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, as well as friends and family volunteers.

The event helped to distribute fruit, vegetables, canned goods and other items to community members.

As a result, the family was given the state award, which was presented to the Phillips’ by New York State Senator Patty Ritchie. According to Ritchie, the New York State Commendation Award recognizes those who make “lasting contributions to their community.”

Senator Ritchie congratulated the family and expressed pride in the initiative.

“The many ways people stepped up to help others who were struggling during the pandemic are inspiring—and it’s especially amazing to hear the stories of young people who recognized a need and took action to help others,” Senator Ritchie said. “That’s exactly what Leah and Logan Phillips did, along with their father Trevor. By turning their front yard into a food pantry and then, hosting a larger scale food distribution event, they helped feed hundreds of families during a very scary, challenging time.”

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