In 2015, UlsterCorps continued to recruit volunteers and participate in gleanings at local farms and processings at local community kitchens throughout the growing season, including weekly gleanings at Huguenot Street Farm in New Paltz. In partnership with Rondout Valley Growers Association and Family, over 60,000 lbs of fresh food donated by local farms was harvested and distributed to 21 food pantries this season, increasing food security for thousands of families in Ulster County.
We also continued to update posters mapping Ulster County Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens and UCAT bus lines, which, thanks to Bob DiBella of UCAT and our generous sponsors Lifebridge Foundation, PDQ Printing and Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley Lucie M Walker Memorial Fund, have been displayed on all UCAT buses.
In 2014 and 2015, we have also been working closely with Family of Woodstock and the Rondout Valley Growers Association to develop a network of freezer/cooler storage hubs around the county to expand the storage capacity of local food pantries for fresh produce. We have also vastly expanded processing efforts so that more of the produce donated by incredibly generous local farmers during the growing season can be stored and distributed over the winter months. In 2015 the first of these was opened at the Rondout Municipal Center, the former Rosendale Elementary School, thanks to support from the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, the Town of Rosendale, and an amazing team of volunteers from United Healthcare.
View photos from past gleanings on Facebook!
– People’s Place Food Pantry & Thrift Store at 17 St James Street in Kingston seeks volunteers weekdays between 9am-1pm. We need strong, able-bodied people who can move boxes, help bag produce, break down boxes, etc. Please contact Christine if you can help – 845-338-4030 firstname.lastname@example.org
– Family of Ellenville seeks volunteers to assist with food pickups. Do you have a pickup truck or van, are you able to make a weekly commitment to Family, and the ability to lift boxes of food? If so, we could use your help picking up food donations in Ellenville, delivering them to Family of Ellenville sorting and stocking them in our food pantry. If you can help please call Dominic @845-647-2443 or email email@example.com
– Caring Hands Soup Kitchen (Kingston) seeks volunteer cooks and donation picker-uppers. For more information call 331-7188.
………………………………………………..Keep in Touch!
Want to be notified about upcoming gleanings
and other opportunities to help end hunger in our community?
– Sign up for Hunger in the Hudson Valley – Action Alerts
email notifications & calls for volunteer assistance getting food from local farms to people in need.
Related Initiatives & volunteer opportunities
Plant a Row for the Hungry
This program asks vegetable gardeners to devote an extra row in their gardens, or bring their excess produce to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC), located at 232 Plaza Road, in Kingston, Family of New Paltz or Caring Hands Soup Kitchen. More info. 340-3478. (DIRT).
Support local farms – join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or shop at local farmers markets. If you are a member of a CSA, offer to transport leftover produce to your local food pantry or soup kitchen. If you have the resources, consider donating a partial share in a CSA to a family in need.If you have a commercial kitchen, organize/donate a day to help process food so that it can be distributed year-round. If you have a freezer, a donation of storage space would also be greatly appreciated.
Rondout Valley Growers Association
From the Ground Up
Rondout Valley’s From the Ground Up was established in 2008 with a sustainable garden at the Marbletown Elementary School. In the past 3 1/2 years, this program has expanded to a district- wide farm to school effort to increase access to healthier, fresh local food in the schools while enhancing environmental and agricultural education for the district’s student population. Farm to school is an integrated approach to education that works in the cafeteria, classroom, and community. In 2011, From the Ground Up partnered with the Rondout Valley Growers Association (RVGA). This collaboration’s overarching goal is to get 30% local food into the Rondout Valley district cafeterias within the next three to five years. Volunteer garden caretakers needed to Adopt-a-Week throughout the summer; also web, computer and press support. Contact Nicci at Nicci Cagan
Farms to Food Pantries Projects & Community Gleaning Days
August, September & October. Volunteers will work in the fields harvesting seconds and other left over produce, we will also have opportunities for people to work in a processing kitchen to prepare food to give to the soup kitchens and food pantries in the area. Volunteers will also be able to take home some produce. firstname.lastname@example.org or 626-1532.
Phillies Bridge Farm Project Farm to Families Program
The Farm to Families Program provides fresh food and a farm experience to low-income families in Ulster County. In partnership with local agencies, Phillies Bridge Farm Project distributes CSA (community supported agriculture) shares to low-income families, and also hosts a farm visit and cooking demonstrations for participants of the program. 256-9108.
Volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen – help them extend their hours, transport more fresh food, prepare additional meals. All need more volunteers to keep up with significantly increased demand.
Become a Volunteer Master Gardener!
Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who provide the public with gardening programs and activities that convey horticulture research and experience. Volunteers are selected and trained in all aspects of horticulture from taxonomy and plant pathology to organic gardening. Each Master Gardener must complete an initial 100 hours of research based instruction from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County and will continue to be exposed to the latest developments through a variety of educational training methods and state of the art gardening techniques. Interviews will take place in July and August. Training will begin in September at the CCEUC Education Center in Kingston. Contact Dona at 340-3990.