People gathered at the Montgomery Food Pantry to pack Thanksgiving gift baskets last Wednesday night. Following their hard work, they distributed the baskets on Saturday. The food is intended for residents of the Valley Central School District who struggle to provide their families with a Thanksgiving meal.
The pantry is currently staffed by five local churches; Brick Reformed of Montgomery; First Presbyterian of Montgomery; Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic; St. Andrew’s Episcopal and First Reformed of Walden. Through their united efforts, they hope to alleviate hunger in the Valley Central School District.
“Anybody who needs anything for Thanksgiving can come in and get it,” said Rev. Jeromey Howard, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. “Not everyone has food on Thanksgiving and for those families it’s humbling.”
Residents of the Valley Central School District had until Nov. 1 to apply for Thanksgiving gift baskets. They had to provide proof of residency and birth certificates for all household members.
The gift baskets included green beans, stuffing, gravy, yams, cranberry sauce, potatoes, apples, turkey and ice cream. The amount of each product was determined by the number of members in each family.
Much of the food for this event was purchased from the Hudson Valley Food Bank. The pantry also benefits from the efforts of numerous community groups and many individual donors.
The Montgomery Food Pantry will also be distributing a Christmas food basket. Like Thanksgiving, residents of the Valley Central School District can apply at the pantry during operating hours until December 1. Applicants need to provide proof of residency and birth certificates for all household members. These are traditions that the Montgomery Food Pantry has carried on since the 1980s and there are no plans in sight to stop them.
“It’s a tradition that families have a meal on Thanksgiving or Christmas,” said Peter Sullivan, Treasurer of the Montgomery Food Pantry and a member of the Board of Directors at Montgomery Food Pantry, Inc. “We like to provide that to them.”