There is never a “slow” season at the Food Pantry because the issue of hunger never takes a vacation. That’s why the small army of volunteers makes it their business to make sure the shelves are stocked and our Pantry families are fed without interruption!

The Food Pantry serves 70 - 100 households every three to four weeks, plus backpacks or breakfast/lunch, plus Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. All together that adds up to about 5000 people annually and close to 50,000+ meals a year!

Our Pantry gives clients four days worth of food every three weeks, with amounts based on household size.

We work with the “Client Choice” model which allows our pantry families to choose the foods they want and need from our nutritionally balanced “grocery lists.”  We also now stock our shelves with the foods that are most requested, which ensures a dignified and swift experience for all involved. We have found that this approach translates into tremendous cost savings as we only stock the most requested groceries.

We also have dog and cat food to feed our families' furry members.

During the school, on each Thursday, during regular pantry hours, our team assembles backpacks with enough nutritious food for three meals and healthy snacks for an entire weekend. Volunteers then deliver them to Rondout Valley Central School District elementary and middle school nurses who have helped to identify the children in need.

The backpacks go home with the selected children and are returned the following Monday to be refilled on Thursday. Dietary issues such as allergies, lactose intolerance and diabetes are also taken into consideration and appropriate food is included in the backpacks. 

We are currently serving approximately 60 students a week and the program continues to grow. This year's backpack program will begin the end of September and continue through June. 

Business sponsors led by Ulster Savings Bank and the Mid Hudson Valley Credit Union have made significant contributions in sponsorship as have Croswell Enterprises, Stone Ridge Jewelers, Hurley Motor Sport, Kingston Audiology Center, Stewart’s holiday match program, Hudson Valley Foundations for Youth Health and the Fresh Food fund grant from Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

Many individuals also sponsored students for the school year and/or for a month.  All contributions are deeply appreciated.

Thanks also to the many volunteers that make this program work – from obtaining the food & backpacks, packing the bags, getting them to the schools (and back again to be packed the next week) and to the schools for their support.

  

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas the Food Pantry and community volunteers assemble close to 150 food baskets with all of the holiday trimmings for our pantry families. Our stakeholder churches provide specific items for the Thanksgiving baskets.  The annual Boy Scout Food Drive in early November provides much of the food throughout the holiday season. Thank you Troop 16!

Our summer “youth-at-risk” feeding program picks up where our Backpack Program leaves off.  The mission is to feed our pantry-family, school-aged children who would normally receive breakfast and lunch in school. In 2016 this program will run from Tuesday June 28 - Thursday September 1.

Each summer the pantry serves nearly 5,000 meals between June and August!  And every year the need continues to grow!

The Food Pantry provides food for the Rochester Rec Center's Summer Camp, where volunteer Chef in Residence Tana Miller cooks for and with the children introducing them to local fresh produce.