The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley recently joined three other organizations – Orange County, the Middletown Lions Club, and the Middletown Board of Education – to fill Thanksgiving backpacks for 81 elementary school children in the district.
The event took place at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Middletown, and helped highlight the partnership between the Food Bank and the Office of Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, which provides funding to the Food Bank’s BackPack efforts through its “Orange Cares” program.
According to Glenice Foglia, coordinator of the backpack program for the Lions Club, each week during the school year, 81 students from four schools in the Enlarged City School District of Middletown receive a backpack filled with nutritious, non-perishable items – and some treats, too. “With community support like this, we will continue to make sure there is not one day when our elementary school children will have to deal with hunger.”
“We are excited that the Orange Cares program continues to be a success and is having a positive impact in the Enlarged City School District of Middletown,” said Neuhaus. “It’s gratifying to know that the program has helped thousands of students and their families in a profound way. It has been a collaborative effort between the County, the school districts Orange Cares serves, and the community. We are certainly grateful for this partnership.”
The Food Bank’s BackPack Program operates from October through June, providing the equivalent of six meals to food-insecure schoolchildren throughout the region. The program currently serves 1,415 children from 15 school districts every week.
“Everything we do is a collaboration,” said Paul A. Stermer, Director of the Food Bank. “Words can’t express how grateful we are to partners like Orange County, the Lions Club and the school district for helping lift our youngest citizens out of hunger. This work is making a difference in Middletown and throughout the Hudson Valley.”
About the Food Bank
Working in partnership with the food industry, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley collects surplus food and distributes it to charitable agencies feeding hungry people in a six-county region of the Lower Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster). Last year, the Food Bank provided 16 million pounds of food to more than 124,000 people through 400 member agencies – including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, day care centers, senior programs, rehabilitation programs and programs for the disabled.