Peekskill, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham held a food drive today at Peekskill High School, and 30 volunteers collected nearly 10,000 pounds of donated food and over $4,300 in contributions for Caring for the Hungry and Homeless of Peekskill (CHHOP) / Fred’s Pantry, which helps feed some of the neediest members of the community, including many seniors.
“There is a lot of food insecurity out there, and after the success of our food drive in Sleepy Hollow on May 2, it became obvious that we could be helping out in other communities as well,” said Harckham. “Today’s response, which included a number of significant cash donations, really shows how much people are ready to help out their neighbors. I am so thankful for everyone who donated to this event, and I truly appreciate the many volunteers who lent their efforts to this important cause.”
Harckham added special thanks to Dr. David Mauricio, Superintendent of the Peekskill City School District; Dan Callahan, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education; Carmine Crisci, Director of Facilities; and Peekskill’s Board of Education for allowing the drive to take place on school grounds. Harckham also acknowledged members of the Peekskill Faculty Association and the Nu Psi Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, a local service organization, for their work at the food drive. On hand to help as well were Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey and Westchester County Legislators Catherine Borgia and Colin Smith.
Packed boxes of food, which included canned fruits and vegetables, rice, peanut butter, vegetable oil, cold cereal, tuna, beans, canned soup, pasta and other staples, filled four-and-a-half full-size vans. Both dry and canned pet food was donated as well.
“This has been an incredible outpouring of community support for residents who really need help,” said Cynthia B. Knox, chief executive officer of CHHOP. “I’m grateful for all of the healthy and nutritious food that was donated today, so people have enough to eat during these challenging times. Senator Harckham is a real champion for this community, and with the dozens of volunteers here we accomplished together something quite beautiful today.”
The food drive was held in the parking lot of Peekskill High School, and the food was then transported to Fred’s Pantry, which is located at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Peekskill. Knox noted at the food drive that Fred’s Pantry served 300 families earlier in the day.
“I am just so happy to have all of this food,” said Arthur Holmes, coordinator of Fred’s Pantry, after the first van load of food arrived. “It’s a blessing.”
Harckham started his day at a food drive in Carmel, NY, at Our Lady of the Lakes Council #6318 of the Knights of Columbus. There were seven food drives in total today across Putnam County.
“A sincere thanks belongs to all of the food drive participants, volunteers and sponsors in Putnam County,” said Harckham.