To combat food waste and scarcity, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-on-Hudson leads a network of partners to alleviate hunger and nourish communities in the area. With the growing demand for food and a changing landscape of food insecurity, the need for a larger and more equipped facility has become essential to meet the needs of Hudson Valley residents. Fortunately, a new Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is in the works in Orange County’s Village of Montgomery to alleviate the burden that food scarcity places on our communities.
The current organization in Cornwall-on-Hudson has been successfully carrying out its mission to reduce hunger and food waste in the Hudson Valley since 1996, providing 20 million pounds of food each year to several thousand individuals and families in need in Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Putnam, Ulster, and Dutchess counties. The new project aims to increase the reach of food donations, as well as provide increased capacity and modern equipment to obtain, store, and sort food.
Recently, the Food Bank of Hudson Valley launched a $6.5 million capital campaign project intended to raise support and funds to construct their state-of-the-art facility. The new project has begun construction at its central location close to transportation routes and consists of a 40,000-sq-ft distribution center that is expected to open in the spring of 2024. This expanded warehouse space will have the capacity to house more food stores to accommodate a broader range of fresh, nutritious food and larger donations.
In an effort to create a network of support and maximize its impact in alleviating hunger, the Food Bank will collaborate with local businesses, organizations, and leaders. Community members can volunteer to help sort, pack, and distribute food, and a fully equipped training room will include a kitchen to provide opportunities for culinary training programs and empower individuals looking to obtain valuable skills. The Montgomery facility also intends to optimize inventory management, minimize food waste, and streamline distribution processes by using advanced technology.
The new Food Bank will be a huge step up from Cornwall-on-Hudson’s facility, which operates out of a 20,000-sq-ft space that is overcrowded, has limited racking space, a lack of a cooler and freezer space, unsubstantial docks for distribution, a small product sorting area, and no training kitchen for agency education. Montgomery’s project expects to remedy these issues with a more economical and efficient distribution process, effectively providing food to over 300 partner pantries, schools, and senior sites around the Hudson Valley.
For Hudson Valley residents, hunger is a reality for one in 10 people and one in seven children. Since before the COVID-19 crisis, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley has struggled to keep up with the increasing amounts of food scarcity in the area. This new Food Bank has the ability to generate a positive change in our communities that benefits individuals and families in need, closing the gap between hunger and health.
The new Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is located off Neelytown Road in Montgomery.