Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a $10.7 million award to construct a new food distribution warehouse for the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in the Orange County town of Montgomery. The increased demand for emergency food assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a larger facility with additional capacity for cold storage and sorting. The new 40,000-square-foot warehouse is expected to benefit 179,000 low- to moderate-income New Yorkers currently receiving assistance from Hudson Valley food banks.
"The ongoing financial impact of the pandemic has left more New Yorkers to rely on their local food pantries to feed their families," Governor Hochul said. "New York is committed to addressing food insecurity and combating hunger in our communities, and this new larger facility will strengthen our emergency food network in the Hudson Valley and help more residents in need."
The award to the Town of Montgomery was made through the Community Development Block Grant CARES program administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for food assistance across the Hudson Valley Region grew substantially and the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley outgrew its current facility.
The new distribution warehouse will provide increased capacity to obtain, store, and distribute food donations to 400 member agencies in six counties in the lower Hudson Valley: Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, and Putnam Counties. It is estimated that nearly 179,000 low- to moderate-income New Yorkers in the Hudson Valley are currently receiving food assistance.
The expanded facility will also give volunteers and staff sufficient space to gather safely to assist preparing food for recipients, preventing the further spread of COVID-19.
Additional funding for the project includes a $1.9 million contribution from the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and nearly $800,000 in private donations.
The federal Community Development Block Grant CARES Act funding was allocated to States to support community projects that address pandemic-related health and safety issues and improve public services.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "This $10.7 million award will enable the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley to improve distributions to 400 pantries and emergency food providers while keeping essential staff and volunteers healthy and safe. Due to the pandemic and rising costs, hundreds of thousands of additional New Yorkers have turned to their local food pantries for assistance to put meals on their tables. HCR is committed to helping localities across the State strengthen their capacity to provide life-enhancing public services that result in thriving and more equitable communities. By helping the Food Bank build the infrastructure necessary to make these urgently needed distributions, we can ensure that food bank patrons in the Hudson Valley have reliable access to fresh and nutritious food for the long-term."
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney said, "Thanks to the CARES Act, which I was proud to vote for and help pass through Congress, Hudson Valley food banks will be able to get food to thousands more individuals and families in need. I am proud to join Governor Hochul in announcing this funding, which will create a new distribution facility in Montgomery to serve folks all across the Hudson Valley."
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said, "Orange County has long considered the Food Bank an important strategic partner and I am ecstatic to hear about this important funding provided by New York State. We are grateful for everything that the Food Bank has contributed to assisting some of the most vulnerable residents in our communities and will continue to work closely with the Food Bank to ensure that residents, including many older adults, are able to obtain food."
State Senator James Skoufis said, "At a time when food insecurity and inequity has never been in sharper relief, The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley has consistently stepped up to make sure local families are keeping healthful meals on their tables. Now, it's time we pay that hard work forward. This $10.7 million award represents a substantial investment in Hudson Valley families, and I congratulate the Town of Montgomery, the Food Bank, and Homes & Community Renewal for working together to modernize and expand local food assistance."
Assemblymember Brian Miller said, "I am so pleased to hear of the $10.7 million award that the Town of Montgomery is receiving to build a new warehouse for the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. It will help the food bank to ensure many more families have food on their table, especially for kids who are growing. I look forward to seeing the completion of the new facility and the great work done because of it."
Town of Montgomery Supervisor Brian Maher said, "This truly was a team effort. Over the past two years the town has been working with the Hudson Valley Food Bank to do our best to ensure this facility would be built in the Town of Montgomery. Our team at the town worked diligently with the Village of Montgomery, the NYS Homes and Community Renewal, our partners at the Hudson Valley Food Bank and other local stakeholders and county, state and federal elected officials to ensure this day would come. We are very proud to call Montgomery the future epicenter for local food pantries in the Hudson Valley. This project also has had the support from our community as well and that is something that means a great deal to us."
Molly Nicol, CEO Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, said, "The Regional Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is thrilled to be partnering with the Town of Montgomery to establish this vital resource in the Historic Village of Montgomery to meet the need for food assistance in the community. This new warehouse will enable us to better fulfill our mission. We will be closer to our donation partners, closer to our distribution partners, closer to our neighbors in need and truly imbedded in this wonderful community. It is so exciting to imagine a new and better future for the region."