What is the Food Bank?
The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is dedicated to alleviating hunger, while preventing the waste of wholesome food. It is a branch of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and a member of Feeding America, the national food bank network.
The Regional Food Bank, based in Latham, New York, was created by a group of food pantry coordinators and anti-hunger advocates which began its operation in June of 1982. At that time, pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters for the homeless were experiencing a tremendous increase in the number of people requesting emergency food assistance because of government budget cuts and difficult economic times.
To serve agencies in the lower Hudson Valley, food was initially transported from the Regional Food Bank and distributed off the backs of trucks at a handful of member agency locations in the Hudson Valley area. As the need for food and agency membership increased, a physical presence was deemed necessary for greater efficiency and food safety. As a result, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley was founded in 1990 in Newburgh, New York. This branch warehouse allowed increased donations from food companies and improved service to member agencies in the lower Hudson Valley area.
In 1994, the Food Bank outgrew its rented Newburgh location and moved to a larger, improved facility in Milton, New York. Member agency numbers continued to grow and the amount of food distributed increased steadily.
In 1996, a 55,000 square foot warehouse in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York was donated to the Food Bank. This location also houses the Food Bank’s administrative offices.
Working in partnership with the food industry, the Food Bank collects large donations of unmarketable but still edible food, and distributes it to charitable agencies feeding hungry people in a six county region. In 2008, the Food Bank provided more than 8 million pounds of food to over 360 member agencies in Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Rockland, Sullivan, and Putnam counties.
Today, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in conjunction with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, serves over 1,000 member agencies in 23 counties from the Canadian border to the Westchester border.