Food drives pop up everywhere around the holidays — at school, church, work — and with good reason: Nearly 130,000 people experience food insecurity in the Hudson Valley every year.
Carol Griffin, food industry relations coordinator at Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, says there are several ways for people to help those without enough on the table. Volunteers are always needed at the food bank’s warehouse in Cornwall-on-Hudson, and those interested can register for one or multiple shifts on their website.
Unsurprisingly, cash donations are the most powerful way to lend a hand, since the Food Bank can stretch a one-dollar donation into four meals for someone in need. But providing a pantry can help out as well, so long as all donations are sealed in original packages and not expired or perishable. Here are some of the most needed items:
• Canned goods: proteins (tuna, chicken, etc.), low-sodium soup, fruits, and vegetables
• Low-sugar boxed breakfast cereals
• Single-serve water
• Coffee, sweeteners, dry coffee creamers
• Boxed diapers
• Health and beauty products
• Bathroom tissue, paper towels, napkins
Of course, as Griffin notes, food insecurity is not a seasonal issue, and donations are encouraged year-round.