Washingtonville Giving Thanks Year Round
Washingtonville Helps Santa Gather Toys
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Hear those sleigh bells? Santa’s getting ready, and his helpers at Washingtonville’s Country Kids Food Pantry and the Washingtonville school district’s Food for Kids program are holding their annual toy drive. New (but not gift-wrapped) toys donated by the community into large cardboard boxes placed around town will be collected weekly, sorted by age and theme, and then displayed at the pantry close to Christmas for parents and guardians to view, select, and take home for the children who will receive them.
Considered an organizationally simpler and streamlined, as well as more discreet, way of spreading the magic of Christmas to families in need than the previous way of Santa presenting toys to children at their homes via fire truck, this method of collection and distribution, done successfully for the past few years now, offers a way for parents and guardians to satisfy children’s own wishes to Santa in a way personal to them, under the tree inside their homes, people familiar with the matter said.
Drop-off boxes are located at many businesses around the town and village, organizers said, but people can also drop off toy donations directly to the Country Kids Food Pantry at Fr. Tierney Circle (off Ahern Blvd., across from Brotherhood Winery), or call the Food Pantry president John Flores at (845) 496-2119. Frozen turkeys and hams, often given away at supermarkets around Thanksgiving, are also welcome, as are gift cards.
“Food for Kids” Expands to Washingtonville Middle School
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Washingtonville’s well-known Food for Kids program has expanded to help children in need in the middle school, organizers recently announced.
A collaborative effort between the Washingtonville Central School District and the Country Kids Food Pantry, Food for Kids currently provides 110 Washingtonville elementary school children in need with easy-to-prepare breakfasts, lunches, drinks, and snacks for weekends, holidays, and school breaks, as well as throughout the summer months, via the Backpack Club, thus relieving some of the food insecurity they experience. The summertime lunch program bridges the gap left when school is out by serving 8,000 bagged lunches weekdays all summer long out of various locations in Washingtonville.
The Food for Kids program relies entirely on volunteers, and starts with community donations of nutritious, non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food into six distinctive red schoolhouse-shaped boxes located at Stop & Shop; Grace Community Church;St. Mary’s Catholic Church; Taft, Round Hill, and Little Britain Elementary Schools; and Washingtonville Middle and High Schools.
Individual portion microwaveable hot foods are good donation choices, organizers said, as are individually wrapped non-perishables such as granola bars, juice boxes, fruit/pudding cups, and the like. Financial gifts are also accepted. To shop the Food for Kids wish list on Amazon and have items shipped directly to the Food for Kids packing location, go to http://a.co/blg4gL8. Organizers said children can also be sponsored monthly. To find out how, go to Food for Kids on social media, or to http://www.foodforkidswvl.org for more information. Those interested in getting involved or signing up a child can also call the Washingtonville school district’s Central Administration offices.
CAPTION: Eagle project soars: for his Eagle Scout project, Connor McCann built the six distinctive red food collection bins that Food for Kids now uses (see article for locations). To get involved in the efforts to help feed Washingtonville school district children, or to sign up a child, contact the school district’s Central Administration office. (Photo provided)