The Goshen Food Pantry is up and running, providing food during this difficult time of a COVID-19 pandemic caused by coronavirus.
Food is distributed from the grounds of the First Presbyterian Church, 33 Park Place, every second and last Saturday of each month, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
John Strobl, CEO/CFO of the Goshen Food Pantry, cautions not to come early, as you won’t be allowed on the property. He explained that the Food Pantry is following strict safety precautions, including social distancing, when distributing food.
To receive food bags, enter the First Presbyterian Church parking lot using the long driveway; at the church front door, pop open your car trunk; do not get out of your car. Volunteers will place a bag or two of food in your trunk. After receiving the bags, drive off the grounds.
“These are challenging times,” said Strobl, who has been involved with the Food Pantry for 25 years. “One of the biggest challenges is keeping everyone safe, along with making the delivery quick and comfortable for the recipients. Additionally, it’s getting harder to get food.”
According to Strobl, in January and February about 40 to 50 families received food.
In early May, 90 vehicles went through the line, doubling the number of families.
Besides an increase in demand, meat factories are closing, and there’s no system in place to receive larger donations from farms that are discarding undeliverable foodstuff.
“There’s no infrastructure in place for donated foods," Strobl said, "but they’re starting to catch up."
Just recently with certain food items hard to find, Strobl asked the Goshen Rotary and the Lions Club for help. The Rotary donated 25 canned hams and the Lion’s Club 25 cans of chicken. Other local service organizations, like the Masons, have also donated food.
Most stock is received from the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-on-Hudson,which delivers reasonably priced foods, like hams or cases of peanut butter and cereal, some often free from the United States Department of Agriculture. Also, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY in upstate Latham, makes a stop in Goshen once a month to deliver food to Goshen and surrounding communities.