Food distributions will be expanded to include meat, dairy and produce

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 June 2020 at 11:28 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Community Action employees distribute Foodlink boxes and also bags of apples from LynOaken Farms on May 1 in Albion.

Food distributions will continue in Orleans County and will be expanded from one to three boxes.

The Orleans County Office for the Aging, Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, and the Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God will team up for the distributions.

There have been Foodlink distributions in April and May, with 300 boxes available for the distributions in Albion and Medina.

The distributions will expand from one to three boxes and Holley will be included this month. The schedule includes:

  • Friday, June 5 – Community Action, Main Street Store, Albion, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday, June 12 – Medina Calvary Cupboard, Medina, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday, June 19 – Community Action, Main Street Store, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday, June 26 – Holley Community Center, Through Community Action, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The new round of food distributions will introduce a new state-funded program called Nourish New York. This funding allows Foodlink to purchase local product.

On a federal level, the USDA has implemented a new initiative called CFAP (Coronavirus Food Assistance Program). In this program, distributors who would normally serve schools, restaurants, and municipal programs are able to pre-pack boxes of perishable product and deliver to distributions being done all over the country, said Melissa Blanar, OFA director in Orleans County.

These boxes will be packed in three types: Mixed Dairy, Cooked Meat and Produce. Each box will be approximately 25 lbs. and is meant for a family, Blanar said.

During the food distributions in June, each vehicle with have three boxes set in a trunk or back of a truck. There will be 900 boxes at each one, with enough for 300 different families.

The OFA and Community Action want to continue the food distributions in July and August, but they need volunteers to help with the distributions.

Volunteers need to be able to lift 20- to 25-pound boxes. People interested should contact Blanar at the Office for the Aging at 589-3191 or Annette Finch at Community Action, 589-5605.

Blanar said the groups would like to have the food distributions the first and third Fridays in Albion, the second Friday in Medina, and the fourth Friday possibly rotating to other spot sin the county.

The guidelines for the events includes:

  • This will be a drive-thru model with no walk-ins. People must stay in car and have their ID visible and do not roll your window down.
  • Please have trunk cleaned out so boxes of emergency food can be put into it. Have your trunk open and ready. Once your trunk is closed and tapped, you may drive away.
  • This will be a no-touch distribution and proper social distancing must be maintained at all time.

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