Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery will be regularly donating to Pro Action’s Hope Center Keuka Food Pantry retroactively starting March 1 and continuing indefinitely, in honor of four women of the Frank family for whom their “Helm Series” of wines were named. 

Pro Action of Steuben and Yates Inc. is the federally and state-designated Community Action Agency for Steuben and Yates Counties. It is the largest and longest-standing organization dedicated to addressing the causes and conditions of poverty in these communities.

“Partnering with a local non-profit has been on my mind recently and this pandemic has made it much more of a priority. There are so many families in our community that are struggling financially right now and to compound the situation, many of the local food pantries have lost their traditional fundraising channels and donors,” explains Meaghan Frank.

Yates County had struggled with poverty and food insecurity even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and this situation has become graver due to the economic crisis we are currently facing. The fourth-generation Frank was recommended the Hope Center Keuka Food Pantry by a friend who is involved with many charitable organizations in the area. When Meaghan Frank learned about the funding issues the Keuka Food Pantry was facing, she reached out to the Director of Pro Action, Laura Rossman.

“The Hope Center Keuka Food Pantry opened its doors in October of 2017 after conducting an extensive community needs assessment identifying food insecurity as the largest need of the county,” states Rossman. “Donations from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery will go directly to supporting and sustaining the Hope Center and meeting the basic need of food for struggling individuals and families in Yates County.”

Families who visit the pantry leave with a 5-day supply of food, or an equivalent of 15 meals, based on the USDA MyPlate recommendations and the requirements of the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). The Keuka Food Pantry uses a “choice” model which gives customers a choice in each of three food groups including grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein (meat, non-meat, and dairy). A client choice pantry allows families to select their food instead of receiving a pre-packed or standard bag of groceries. They do not take items they already have, do not like, or cannot eat for health or personal reasons. The client choice model upholds the dignity of families, helps meet their health and dietary needs and limits food, leaving the rest for others.

“Extending a hand to our neighbors in need is the only way we are going to get through this crisis,” says Frank.

“The Helm Series is in honor of four women who all made tremendous sacrifices for our family and winery. I hope they would be pleased to know that we are using part of their legacy to help those in a desperate situation.”

The Helm Series honors four great women of the Frank family: Hilda Frank Volz (Konstantin’s daughter), Eugenia Frank (Konstantin’s wife), Lena Frank (Konstantin’s youngest daughter), and Margrit Frank (Konstantin’s daughter-in-law). These wines represent the winery’s most distinctive styles that are made from exceedingly old vineyard sites and from the highest quality barrels.

“Having this partnership with Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery means that we will be able to continue to address food insecurity in Yates County. Collaborations with local businesses like theirs means that we are all one community that works together building resilience and ensuring individuals and families meet their basic needs, and prosper,” says Rossman.

Discussions between Meaghan and Laura touched on the interesting point that this partnership is based on food and wine as an agricultural product. Meaghan adds, “The distinction is that we don’t technically need wine to live, but it certainly makes life a little bit better!”