Volunteers Loading Ichabod Buses For Food Distribution

Volunteers Loading Ichabod Buses for Weekly Food Distribution

In addition to other local summer meal options, we’ve been running a weekly Summer 2020 Food Distribution Program since July 1. The program is helping Ichabod Crane families supplement their grocery bills with deliveries of fresh, frozen and shelf-stable foods.

We spoke to Robin Sullivan, who’s been coordinating summer food distribution and is also the coordinator for Ichabod’s Teen Weekend Meal Program during the school year. She gave us the details about how this particular opportunity came to be, how it works and how you can sign-up for it.

Ichabod Crane Summer 2020 Food Distribution Program

During summer months in years past, First Presbyterian Church in Valatie (along with other local churches) supplied lunches on weekdays for Ichabod Crane families and gave food supplies for the weekends.

Unfortunately, this year the churches realized they couldn’t run this program because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was in addition to the fact the Ichabod’s BackPack Program and Teen Weekend Meal & Pantry Program does not normally do food distribution during summer months. This left the district in a predicament about where to direct students for meals this summer.

Fortunately, a few things happened that suddenly offered a solution. Before the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Ms. Sullivan was contacted by Betsey Dickson, the Director of Children’s Programs at the Regional Foodbank of Northeastern New York. The Foodbank had recently received a summer program grant from United Way of the Greater Capital Region and they offered to organize food distribution for Ichabod Crane families in need. This distribution program is now set-up is running once a week for nine weeks (up until August 26).

PLUS, Ichabod student meal programs recently received their own grant from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. That grant funding is provided through Columbia County’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and is also helping fund the Summer 2020 program. Finally, Ichabod meal programs have also received recent monetary donations from local Columbia County organizations and businesses to further help with costs, including a combined gift of $2,5000 from MetzWood Insurance and Utica National Insurance.

Participating in Summer 2020 Food Distribution:

The program is still open! If you or other Ichabod Crane families are interested in enrolling for the rest of the summer, contact Robin Sullivan ASAP via email at rsullivan@ichabodcrane.org

As of this writing, 75 Ichabod Crane families are benefitting from our summer food distribution each week. On Wednesday mornings, dedicated staff and student volunteers from all three Ichabod Crane schools prepare the food deliveries. Those deliveries are then dropped off to participating families later that same day by the Ichabod Crane Transportation Department.

“It’s wonderful working with these unbelievable volunteers. Their support for our school district families is unwavering and plus they are just so much fun to work with,“ said Ms. Sullivan.