SYRACUSE, N.Y. – What started as a few food items left out on two Strathmore resident’s front porch quickly turned into a 100% donations-based store involving the entire neighborhood.
Scott Upham and Tammy Shuh cofounded the Shoppe at Strathmore in late March after seeing similar efforts in Camillus.
The Shoppe’s ‘take what you need, leave what you can’ motto inspired others in the community to do their part to help those in need.
“We literally just put out a table I said ‘well there’s 20 items, if they go great’ and
two weeks later we had three tables full of food.” Shuh said.
The Shoppe at Strathmore gained so much attention that local nonprofits began giving their surplus donations to Upham and Shuh.
In early October, the Shoppe at Strathmore received the New York State Senate 2020 Empire Award from state senator Rachel May for their outstanding contributions to the community.
While Upham and Shuh were grateful for the recognition, they say their greatest achievement has been the connections they’ve made with people.
“The main thing is just getting to establish relationships with people around here and hear how it really helps them and impacts them.” Upham said.
Michael Pee, a Shoppe at Strathmore regular said “It means so much especially after my wife passed. Just to see this here is such a blessing. It really is.”
To prepare for winter, they’re asking for pre-packaged, plastic food items that can withstand the cold weather ahead.
Upham and Shuh hope to register the Shoppe at Strathmore as an official nonprofit but until then plan to continue running as long as the neighborhood needs them.