Under the leadership of Anthony Barbaro, Catholic Charities of the Southern Tier experienced incredible growth during the last two decades of the 1900s and the first few years of the new millennium.
Barbaro became executive director of the agency — then known as the Southern Tier Office of Social Ministry — in 1985. At that time the agency had a primary location in Elmira, a staff of about 20 people and an annual budget of approximately $1 million, he recalled.
The agency, which became known as Catholic Charities of the Southern Tier in 1994, grew by leaps and bounds. It established offices in Steuben and Tompkins counties in 1997, and by the end of 2002 had a staff of 150 people and a budget of more than $14 million, according to Barbaro.
The agency had grown to the point where it was decided that, from a convenience and service-delivery point of view, it was prudent to transform the agency into four new branches: Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler Counties, Catholic Charities of Steuben County, Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga Counties and Food Bank of the Southern Tier.