In the Hudson Valley, there are 385 programs in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster Counties that offer places to receive meals via soup kitchens, food pantries, emergency shelters, rehabilitation programs, after school programs, backpack programs, senior programs, programs for the disabled and daycare centers.
“In 2014, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley distributed over 12 million pounds of food to close to 400 feeding programs in six counties to help feed people in need” according to Antonetta C. Gutter; Director of Development, Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
The following offers to help explain how food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and food programs work and more importantly how important it is that you donate your time and energy to these programs. If you, your company or local farm or business would like to contribute read on and look below for important links and contact information for The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. Thank you for reading!
What Does a Food Pantry Provide?
A Food Pantry provides a 3-5 day food package to families that have a place to live but not enough food. These packages are designed to provide nutritionally balanced meals.
What is a Soup Kitchen?
Soup Kitchens serve walkins in a need of a hot meal, the only meal of the day for many. Most soup kitchens serve a full balanced meal and some prepare and deliver meals to the homebound as well.
What is a Food Bank?
A food bank solicits, stores and distributes large donations of food. Donations that a single food pantry could not accept because of a lack of storage capacity at their facility. Food banks feed the needs of hungry people by distributing the donations they receive to a large number of member agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens, meal programs, drug treatment centers and senior care centers.
How Does a Food Bank Get Donations?
Mislabeled, over produced, test-market items and products with short code dates are donated from the food industry. The Food Bank also “salvages” products such as dented cans and crumpled boxes that are pushed aside at a grocery store. USDA Government foods are donated by the federal government. Sometimes food is also purchased with donated dollars. A cooperative buying program operated by the food bank helps its member agencies. Items needed are purchased in large quantities and then resold.
What are the most NEEDED foods?
Tuna, canned meats, peanut butter, canned stews, chili, ravioli, canned or packaged beans, rice, hearty soups and cereal.
What are the most donated foods?
Fresh produce, varieties of canned items, meats and cooler items.
What percentage of fruits and vegetables do you receive and from where?
A large percentage of donated fruits and vegetables come from various growers, distributors, retailers and wholesales throughout the Hudson Valley. We definitely work with local farms in the six counties to donate some of their produce to the HVFB.
Are there any times of the year you are more in need of food for the food bank?
The need for food exists all year round. However, we do see the higher spikes for food demand during the winter season and during the summer season when children are home from school and no longer receiving free breakfasts and lunches.
What are your big events during the course of the year?
The FBHV has several big events during the course of the year. Two major events are the Annual Dinner in September and our Walk to Fight Hunger in October.
We are also blessed to be the recipient of several third-party events throughout the year from great supporters of the HVFB. Events such as the Markertek Golf Open, Rocking Horse Ranch Family Day, Hambletonian Marathon and the Foodstock Concert. These events, as well as others, to many to list, bring in much-needed donations to the HVFB for us to continue our mission to distribute food to feeding programs in the Hudson Valley.
What is Foodstock?
Foodstock is a concert and inspired by Lorenzo Agelino and Ryan Michaels of Turning Point Entertainment. They had a desire to help feed people in the Hudson Valley. It’s held each year the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The first concert raised over $4,000 and countless canned food items. Foodstock 2,3,4,5 and 6 were equally successful. I all these concerts have raised over $25,000, all of which has gone directly to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. Close to 30 bands, 60 businesses and countless individuals have donated their talent, time and dollars to make these concerts a success. Foodstock 7 was held on Saturday, November 22nd 2014 at the Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie and raised $6,000.
How do I help?
You can go to our website and learn how you can donate your time to help at our facility by volunteering, host a food drive or donate food or money. If you are a farm or business in the Hudson Valley and would like to donate your farm products or volunteer or donate click this link:
The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is dedicated to alleviating hunger while preventing the waste of wholesome food. It is a branch of the Regional Food Bank of Northwestern New York in Latham, and a member of America’s Second Harvest, the national food bank network. The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York was created by a group of food pantry coordinators and anti-hunger advocates who began its operation in June 1982.
The Hudson Valley Food Bank was developed to channel large quantities of surplus and salvage product from the food industry to programs serving the needy throughout the Hudson Valley. Food banks are warehousing operations that receive pallet loads of donations ad redistribute case quantities to charitable organizations who feed the hungry.
In addition to donated food, The Hudson Valley Food Bank distributes USDA products, administers an emergency food program for New York State, provides a cooperative buying program and offers an Extra Helpings Program which allows low-income individuals to purchase food at substantially reduced prices.
Initially, food was transported from the Regional Food Bank and distributed from the backs of trucks at a handful of member agency locations. As need and membership increased, a physical presence was deemed necessary for greater efficiency and food safety.
In 1990, The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley was established in Newburgh to serve the lower Hudson Valley. This branch warehouse allowed increased donations from food companies and improved service to member agencies in the area. By 1994, the HVFB outgrew its rented Newburgh location and moved to a larger facility in Milton. By 1996, with additional steady growth of member agencies and the amount of food distributed a generous friend of HVFB donated a 55,000 square foot warehouse in Cornwall-on-the-Hudson. This is still the current home of HVFB operations.
For inquiries How You and Your Farm or Company can help contact:
Antonetta C. Gutter; Director of Development
Food Bank of the Hudson Valley
Follow The Hudson Valley Food Bank on Social Media