With the holiday season fast approaching, it is more important than ever to make sure as many people as possible
have their food needs met. To help fill this need, the Rockland Community Foundation has partnered with Inserra Supermarkets (parent company of ShopRite) to award $500 grants to 20 local food pantries to help combat food insecurity in Rockland County. The grants will take the form of gift cards to ShopRite stores, with funding split between the two organizations. This is the 17th consecutive year for the program.
According to Julie Sadowski, Executive Director of the Rockland Community Foundation, the record-high number of grants is quite the accomplishment, as this is eight more than were given out last year.
“In the past, we’ve only done fourteen or so,” Sadowski said. “But our Board of Directors recognized the fact that there was a significant need in the community, and we were able to come up with additional funding so that we could actually give out more grants to various food pantries.”
While the process to apply for these grants is highly accessible due to many pantries having volunteers rather than full-time employees, applications remain comprehensive. They assess multiple factors, including but not limited to the pantry’s funding needs, populations that are served, where they’re located, how many hours they’re open, whether they’re run by staff or volunteers and how many clients are served per week.
Grant recipients for this year include Capabilities Partnership Inc., Catholic Charities of Ramapo; First Evangelical Baptist Church Food Pantry; Head Start of Rockland; Meals on Wheels; Mt. Zion Food Outreach; People to People; Rockland Community College Foundation; Rockland County Pride Center; Salvation Army Spring Valley Community Center; Sloatsburg Food Pantry; South Orangetown Central School District Food Pantry; St. Ann’s Food Cupboard; St. John Deliverance Tabernacle Food Pantry; Tomche Shabbos of Rockland County; Touch Food Pantry; Upper Room House of Worship and West Street Child Care Learning Center.
Sadowski explained that the Rockland Community Foundation, which makes it its mission to “connect people and businesses with the causes that matter most to them,” is happy to serve Rockland County in a greater capacity this year.
“We’re highly tuned into the most important needs in the community,” Sadowski said. “We were very happy to be able to give out more this year because of the pressing needs in the community. With the holidays coming up, it’s of great importance to be able to meet these needs, and help food pantries around the county continue to do the good work that they do.”