YMCA, USDA partnering to distribute 60k pounds of food to Capital Region | WNYT.com

YMCA, USDA partnering to distribute 60k pounds of food to Capital Region

Emily Burkhard
Updated: October 16, 2020 11:21 PM
Created: October 16, 2020 11:15 PM

Capital District YMCA officials are working with the US Department of Agriculture Farmers to Families Food Box Program all month long to distribute food that otherwise would go to waste.

There were four distribution locations and times throughout the Capital Region on Friday and each was swarmed with cars from the start.

"We've had a tremendous turnout and you know at some point we're going to run out of food here but as you can see the need is great,” said Dave Brown, President of the Capital District YMCA.

Feeding America said before Covid-19 food insecurity in the US was at its lowest point since before the Great Recession, but even then 37 million people, including 11 million children were food insecure.

Fast forward to this year, Feeding America estimates more than 54 million people, including 18 million children may experience food insecurity because of the pandemic.

That's why the USDA is working with YMCA officials to distribute food that would've otherwise gone to restaurants.

“We're happy we could be on the receiving end,” Brown said.

Rebecca Atwell, Executive Director of the Troy Branch of the YMCA said they had about 30-40 pounds of food in each box.

"They are full of fresh vegetables fresh fruits there's some pre-cooked chicken there's eggs and then dairy products,” Atwell said. “So they could have anything from a gallon of milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt it's really whatever the distributors had and didn't want to go to waste."

YMCA officials said though times are tough, everyone who stopped by to pick up a box had a smile on their face, even if it was under a mask.

"They're coming in there getting stuff for other people who can't get out of their houses and they're helping out and I think that's what this is all about is helping one another out through this difficult time,” Brown said.

If you didn't get a chance to get a box on Friday, the distributions will continue on Friday for the rest of the month. Here are the times and locations:

Troy YMCA, 2500 21st St., Troy, 9-11 a.m.;

Rensselaer’s Riverfront Park, Rensselaer, noon-2 p.m.;

Greene County YMCA, 35 Route 81, Hope Plaza, West Coxsackie, 2-3:30 p.m.;

Albany County Plaza, 260 South Pearl St., Albany, 5-7 p.m.

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