500 families received much-needed assistance during a Southern Tier Food Bank distribution event at Windsor Central High School Friday.
This is the second such event Windsor has hosted since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the first event to feature food items courtesy of the Nourish NY program. The state has given food banks in New York $25 million under this program to purchase food from New York farmers to give away to their clients.
“50 percent of the food we grow in New York is for the food service industry, such as restaurants and schools, which was effectively shut down during the pandemic. We had an enormous amount of product at the same time as we saw a need at food banks go up 30, 40, even 200 percent in some places,” said Richard Ball, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner.
“In a normal month, we give away about 900,000 pounds of food. In March, we gave away 1.7 million pounds of food, and the same in April,” said Natasha Thompson, President and CEO of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.
Families that drove through the distribution event received frozen foods such as beef, fish, berries and eggs, as well as milk, yogurt, potatoes, and other staples.
“This is a great opportunity to help the community. The need continues to grow. We’ve served over 75,000 meals to students and today is another example of that need,” said Dr. Jason Andrews, Superintendent of the Windsor Central School District. “We had a terrific turnout from the staff to
volunteer, and it was great to see the Ag Commissioner see first-hand the impact Nourish NY can have.”
Free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch continues to be available to all those 18 years old and younger Monday through Thursday from 10am-1pm at Bell, Palmer, and Weeks Elementary schools. You can find additional food resources and other supports at https://www.windsor-csd.org/CoronavirusInformation.aspx