Utica, NY (WIBX) - First Niagara's Charitable Giving Committee has awarded $1,000 to the Rescue Mission of Utica for its food pantry.

Executive Director Reverend Bill Dodge says the grant comes at the perfect time because it means families in need can get food.

Dodge says the need has been steadily rising and this past fall it spiked, with an over 200% increase in people seeking help in November.