‘Friend of Extension’ award goes to 50 who helped with food distributions this year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2020 at 8:04 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Volunteers carry 20-pound boxes of produce and food during the rain on May 29 at the Orleans County 4-H fairgrounds. Volunteers distributed 1,200 boxes of food that day.

KNOWLESVILLE – The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County each year presents a “Friend of Extension” award, typically to a volunteer or supporter of the agency.

This year many of the Extension activities were cancelled including the 4-H fair due to Covid-19. The fairgrounds, however, were a busy place on about a dozen days, when the Extension distributed boxes of produce, meat and dairy products. On those dates, more than 1,000 vehicles stopped by the fairgrounds for the food.

The Extension counted about 50 people who volunteered for the food distributions. Many stayed for several hours, sometimes in the rain, and other times in stifling heat.

The Extension’s leadership decided to recognize those volunteers with the “Friend of the Extension” award for 2020.

“We are extremely grateful for all the people who came out because we couldn’t have participated in these distributions without them,” said Robert Batt, the Extension executive director.

Each volunteer will receive a thank you card and a small gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts. (This doesn’t include the volunteers who helped with the distributions in Albion, Holley and Medina.)

The Extension hosted and coordinated the distributions from May until early December. The U.S. Department of Agriculture hasn’t said if the program will continue after Dec. 31.