On June 30 the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority (Authority) got the green light from New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation to submit a final grant application to assist Rockland County food pantries in recovering surplus perishables to feed food insecure families.

The grant falls under the Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling State Assistance Program, which provides funding to municipal agencies for programs targeted at minimizing solid waste in New York State. Over the past two years the Authority met with food rescue organizations in and around Rockland County to learn more about how food is acquired, stored and distributed. One of the biggest challenges is storing and distributing perishables.

The grant would allow for the purchase of much needed freezers, refrigerators, shelving and even refrigerated trucks. “This funding would be a win-win”, explains Authority Executive Director Anna Roppolo. “Rescued food helps feed families in need, while at the same time eases the burden on New York State’s limited waste disposal capacity.”

“This initiative is one of a handful of projects newly funded by the state in 2017-2018 for food rescue projects. This type of collaboration and grant funding is another example of the Authority’s ability to advance the Authority’s mission while helping residents and being attentive with taxpayers’ dollars,” said Authority Chairman Howard Phillips.

As September is Hunger Action Month, a time where people all over America stand together with the nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger, an awareness luncheon will be held utilizing recovered & donated food. The food will be prepared by Meals on Wheels with produce provided by Catholic Charities, grown in their local Community Garden of Loves and supplemented by People to People.  The event will be held on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, at the Haverstraw Collaborative.  The luncheon begins at noon, and is being held at the Haverstraw Center as part of the Collaborative’s ongoing initiative to fight domestic hunger.

For more information about the Food Rescue Grant or other Authority programs, visit Stay informed on Twitter @GreenUpRockland and on their Facebook page GreenUpRockland

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