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Photos: Holley food distribution at school parking lot

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2020 at 1:52 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – Andrew Dreschel, who will be a senior at Holley this school year, was among the volunteers this morning at a food distribution at the parking lot for the Holley Junior-Senior High School.

This was the first time the event was at the school parking lot. Last month it was at the parking lot at the Holley Pharmacy and former Save-A-Lot grocery store.

There were long lines backed up in the Public Square and down Route 31 at that location.

Today motorists entered the school campus from High Street and went up the road from the bus garage to the junior-senior high school.

That worked well in keeping the vehicles from backing up on the public streets.

Michelle Figueroa, case manager for Community Action, checks the temperature on volunteer Dave Gagne. Figueroa made sure everyone’s temperature was under 100 degrees. Gagne was volunteering for the first time today at one of the food distribution.

The cars are lined up down the road on the school campus. One of the delivery trucks is at left.

Annette Grillo, community services director for Community Action, gives the group of volunteers instructions. She urged people to take a break if they felt a little woozy from the heat.

Community Action had cold water and Gatorade drinks for the volunteers, as well as hand sanitizer and masks.

Each vehicle received three boxes – produce, meats and dairy, as well as some strawberries. There was enough for 300 vehicles. Each box weighed about 25 pounds.

Food for the first 250 vehicles went fast. The cars and trucks were allowed in the parking lot at about 8:40 a.m. An hour later, when this photo was taken, most of the food was gone. There were still about 50 boxes left of produce, meat and dairy.

These empty pallets are stacked after being cleared with boxes of food.

The food distributions are made possible through a 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.

The distributions will continue in August in Orleans County. There hasn’t been any indication if the program will continue after that, said Finch and also Melissa Blanar, director of the Office for the Aging in Orleans County.

People interested in volunteering should contact Blanar at the Office for the Aging at 589-3191.

The schedule for the distributions through the end of August includes:

  • Friday, August 7 – in Albion at Community Action Main Street Store, 9:30 a.m. until gone
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12, at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds on Route 31 in Knowlesville (includes one box of produce), 10 a.m. until gone
  • Friday, Aug. 14 – in Medina at school district, 9:30 a.m. until gone
  • Friday, Aug. 21 – in Albion at Community Action Main Street Store, 9:30 a.m. until gone
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26, at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds on Route 31 in Knowlesville (includes one box of produce), 10 a.m. until gone
  • Friday, Aug. 28 – in Holley, location to be determined, 9:30 a.m. until gone

These events tend to start about an hour earlier than the advertised time if the food delivery trucks have arrived and if there is a long line of vehicles.

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