WHITE PLAINS – Decked out in masks and gloves, a small group of realtors from the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation (HGRF) recently volunteered their time to help pack groceries at the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY.
The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is a branch of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and a member of Feeding America, the national food bank network. Last year, the Hudson Valley location provided more than 15 million pounds of food to 400 member agencies in Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Rockland, Sullivan, and Putnam counties.
The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the Realtor Foundation to halt all of its volunteering efforts over the past few months. However, taking the proper safety precautions, volunteers ventured out again for the first time since early March.
“We were disappointed to have to cancel or postpone some of our planned volunteer events over the last couple of months. Especially in this time of great need, we want to help wherever we can,” said Gail Fattizzi, HGAR President and Chair of the HGRF Program Committee, which plans the volunteer events. “It’s great to finally start to get back on track. We’ll hopefully be adding new dates to the calendar over the coming weeks, and look forward to new volunteers coming out to help where they can.”
Paul Stermer, Director of the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, notes that in the past eight weeks they have distributed 50 percent more food than over the same time period last year. “That’s enough food for nearly 3 million meals to low-income families, unemployed or underemployed workers, service workers, out-of-school children, homebound and immuno-compromised seniors, shelter residents and others facing food insecurity – some for the first time,” he said.
The increased demand for emergency food has in turn, fueled a greater need for financial support to cover unplanned expenses, revenue shortfalls, and volunteers to sort donated food. “With the help of our incredible community partners, though, the Food Bank can continue to provide food to families struggling to make ends meet during this difficult time,” added Stermer.
Since 2014, the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation has donated thousands of dollars to charities and non-profits throughout the Hudson Valley. As concerned members of the communities they work in, the Hudson Gateway REALTOR® Foundation participates in qualified community-based charities who serve the housing, hunger, health, happiness, and humane needs of citizens everywhere.
For more information or to apply for funding from the Hudson Gateway REALTOR® Foundation, please visit www.hgrealtorfoundation.com.