Event at College’s Haverstraw Center highlights new alliance pairing RCC with community partners
Visitors to the Rockland County Career Center and students enrolled in classes at Rockland Community College’s Haverstraw Center may visit and partake of the Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) Food Cupboard at the Haverstraw Center. The cupboard’s grand opening took place on September 27 at the Center in downtown Haverstraw village, attended by RCC senior administration officials, representatives of the Rockland County Career Center (based at the Haverstraw Center) and community partners People to People, Meals on Wheels and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), as well as VGF Advisory Council, Rockland County Department of Health and Haverstraw village officials, and cupboard volunteers.
RCC is the flagship organization of the newly formed partnership, Rockland’s Campaign to Eliminate Hunger, encompassing RCC, People to People, Meals on Wheels of Rockland County, RSVP and the Career Center.
The Volunteer Generation Fund is a national/state program supporting voluntary organizations and state service commissions in boosting the impact of volunteers while addressing critical community needs. The VGF awarded the new Rockland group a three-year grant totaling nearly $225,000 ($75,000 per year), administered through the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and the NYS Commission on National and Community Service. The Food Cupboard alliance has hired a project administrator, Briana Pavia, who is responsible for volunteer recruitment, training, staffing and oversight, under the supervision of Joseph Falco, Coordinator of RCC’s Connection Center.
The key component in the campaign’s efforts is increased volunteerism within the community, “to directly help those who are struggling with food insecurity by offering them individualized case management, and linking them to health and human resources services in the county,” said Falco. “We took the Connection Center model at RCC and modified it and replicated it in the community” to address hunger needs in Rockland.
According to Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization, more than 33,000 Rockland County residents – about 10 percent of the county’s population – suffered from food insecurity and hunger in 2015.
“The number of children, families and individuals facing food insecurity and hunger in Rockland County is mind-numbing,” said Falco. “In partnering with the Rockland County Career Center, we are contributing to workforce development, keeping food on the tables and in the homes of those visiting Haverstraw Center, or taking classes at the Haverstraw Center, and are one step closer to eliminating the root causes of hunger in Rockland County.”
For more information on the Haverstraw Food Cupboard, contact Joseph Falco at 845-574-4414 or [email protected].