Harckham Holds Food Drive in Somers

Somers, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham held a food drive on Saturday, Feb. 26, at Somers Middle School and collected more than 2,000 pounds of food and household goods for the St. Luke’s Somers Food Pantry, which helps feed some of the neediest members of the Somers community, including many seniors. The food drive was in partnership with the Somers food pantry and the New York State United Teachers.

“Increased food insecurity continues to be a major problem in our communities, and so it is important to help food pantries and other providers as much as possible,” said Harckham. “We need to keep raising awareness of this problem as well. I’m so appreciative of all those who donated as well as of the volunteers who made this a successful event.”

Harckham has held ten prior food drives since March 2020—one each in Sleepy Hollow, Mohegan Lake, Bedford, Pleasantville, Carmel, Croton-on-Hudson and two prior drives in both Mount Kisco and Peekskill, collecting over 35,000 pounds of food items and about $11,000 in cash donations so far.

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

Volunteers included a dozen members of the Somers Faculty Association, plus a number of Somers Middle School and High School students.

Brenda O’Shea, president of the Somers Faculty Association, said, “One of the most important responsibilities for educators is to be involved in their local communities and support the organizations that help our students and their families. The food we collected here today will benefit residents in need, and we appreciate Senator Harckham for hosting this event.”

Lynda Magrath, chair of the St. Luke’s Somers Food Pantry, also thanked Harckham for holding the food drive. She noted that 95% of the food distributed by the food pantry is through donations from community groups like the PTA, Lion’s Club and Heritage Hills residents’ associations. Cash donations allow the pantry to provide fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy items for about 100 people a week.

Rev. Michael T. Watson of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Somers said, “We have so many people in this community who are food insecure. We opened the food pantry eight years ago, and during the last two years because of the pandemic we have seen an increase in the number of people who we serve.”

Also, among those volunteering today at the food drive was Westchester County Legislator Erika Pierce, who had worked as a student-teacher at Somers Middle School years earlier.

“It’s really great to see so many people, young and old, working together for this important cause,” said Pierce.