For the past four or five years, the Rockland Community Foundation has selected 10 food pantries and donated $500 to each during the holiday season. Half of the money comes from the Foundation, and its $2,500 total is matched by ShopRite.
On Tuesday morning, the Rockland Community Foundation’s board met with representatives from most of the food pantries receiving this year’s grants at Clarkstown Town Hall in New City.
“There are so many families who are in need here in Rockland County and food pantries typically are the real line to getting assistance to those families,” said Rhea Vogel, vice president of Rockland Community Foundation.
The Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for Rockland residents by increasing awareness of charitable giving, and matching donors to community needs, said Rockland Community Foundation President Pat Byrne.
Nathan Mungin III, executive director for the Martin Luther King Multi Purpose Center in Spring Valley, said he was grateful for the grant.
“We’ve lost a significant amount of funding from government agencies and grants with so many programs being cut,” he said. “Others have stepped up, though. Christ’s Ambassadors have donated food to our pantry the last three weekends.”
While many of the food pantry representatives in attendance said they’re always appreciative of food donations, monetary donations go even further. Martha Robles, executive director of Catholic Community Services in Haverstraw, said for every dollar donated, they can purchase four meals.
“The dollar goes much longer,” she said. “It’s encouraging that so many people are still willing to help.”
She said that a lot of people donate food around the holiday season, so the grant money will go toward filling the pantry starting in January.
Similarly, Mungin said they are receiving a decent number of food donations around the holidays, and the money will go toward purchasing foods items to distribute through their food pantry, which gives out pre-set kits. Mungin said they see around 25 families a day.
Neil Winter, chair of the grant committee, said 24 food pantries applied for the grant.
“It sends a strong message to the community that there’s a tremendous need, there’s a tremendous number of people out there who are food insecure, that don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” he said.
He added that while all 24 were certainly deserving, they picked the 10 based on trying to serve the entire Rockland community. Winter said they based their decision on things like each pantry’s capacity to serve, number of families and individuals served, where they’re located and more.
The pantries that earned the grant were:
- Catholic Community Services - 78 Hudson Avenue, Haverstraw - 845-942-5791
- Martin Luther King Multi Purpose Center - 110 Bethune Boulevard, Spring Valley - 845-425-8910
- Rockland Interfaith Breakfast - 11 East Church Street, Spring Valley - firstname.lastname@example.org
- St. Vincent DePaul Society - 19 Jefferson Street, Nyack - 845-358-4707
- Sloatsburg United Methodist - 93 Orange Turnpike (Route 17), Sloatsburg - 845-753-2059
- St. Peter's Food Pantry - 115 Broadway, Haverstraw - 845-358-4606
- Rhoda Bloom Kosher Food Pantry - 450 West Nyack Road, West Nyack - 845-354-2121
- Christ Church of Ramapo - 65 Washington Avenue, Suffern - 845-357-1615
- St. Aedans - 23 Reld Drive, Pearl River - 845-735-7405
- Birchwood School - 214 Sickletown Road, West Nyack - 845-639-6480