Harckham Holds Food Drive in Peekskill

Peekskill, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham held a food drive on Saturday, August 13 at Peekskill High School and collected more than 3,500 pounds of food and $200 in cash donations for Fred’s Pantry at Caring for the Hungry and Homeless of Peekskill (CHHOP). Fred’s Pantry helps to feed some of the neediest members of the Peekskill community, including many seniors. The food drive was in partnership with CHHOP and the New York State United Teachers.

“So many of our neighbors are still facing food insecurity, which is why we cannot let up our fight against hunger in our communities,” said Harckham. “Events like this food drive help keep our local food pantries stocked and also continue to raise awareness of this situation. As always, I am thankful to all those who donated and also for the many volunteers who made this a successful event.”

This was the 13th food drive Harckham has hosted. In the twelve prior food drives since March 2020—one each in Sleepy Hollow, Peekskill, Mohegan Lake, Bedford, Pleasantville, Carmel, Croton-on-Hudson and two drives in Mount Kisco and Somers—Harckham and volunteers have collected more than 40,000 pounds of food items and over $12,000 in cash donations so far.

Among those volunteering were members of Black Diamonds Academic Success, a local nonprofit focusing on youth achievement. 

The food drive in Yorktown Heights was a “Drive-Thru, Drop Off” event. No food was distributed; it was only collected. Volunteers collected bags and boxes of food from each vehicle, and there was no need for drivers to get out of the vehicles.

Fred’s Pantry at CHHOP has been in operation since the Great Recession in 2009, when a need for healthy and nutritious food among food insecure residents became apparent in the community. Today, food is distributed from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9-11 a.m. on Saturdays. The pantry currently serves approximately 1,300 people each week.

“It is very important for us to continue to provide healthy food to the people of Peekskill who cannot afford to put food on their table each and every day,” said Jeff Miller, operations manager at CHHOP. “This food drive will add to our supplies—the donations really do help.”

Added Valya Dessaure, board president of CHHOP, “We just want to ensure that everyone in our community has adequate food for themselves and family members.”