Dutchess BOCES staff shows up to supply students with food and more

Dutchess BOCES staff leave Salt Point Center with food for families of students in various programs.

POUGHKEEPSIE –  About 45 Dutchess County BOCES employees from across the agency showed up to Salt Point Center Tuesday, March 24, for a food drive to help ensure that BOCES students had food and necessities.

The bulk of the volunteers were assigned to distribute food to one of 19 school districts served by Dutchess BOCES beginning at 10 a.m. and ending around 11:15 a.m. BOCES serves students from other counties when the need arises.  Pickup times were staggered in order to maintain social distance. Other staff showed up earlier – also in staggered shifts – to collect donations brought in by other BOCES staff, do inventory, organize, label packages and even go out shopping for items using money that was donated.

Seventy-four families received packages on Tuesday, Deputy Superintendent Cora Stempel said.

Volunteers pack boxes in the Salt Point Center gym for delivery to families.

While students’ home districts are all providing food during the school closures, Stempel said the BOCES boxes went beyond that.

“They had many other basics including paper goods, shampoo, and diapers – items they are not getting through other food sources,” Stempel said. She said there was enough cash donated to fund another 75 boxes, which will likely happen next week. If anyone would like to donate money or food, email Stempel at [email protected] and put “BOCES food drive” in the subject line.

This was the second food drive organized by BOCES since school closures were mandated. The first, on March 16, provided meals to about 40 families using what was left in kitchen inventories at BOCES.

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