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March 8th, 2017

Neuhaus Packs Food, Backpacks For Students



(From left to right): Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus packs backpacks with food on Wednesday at Highland Falls Intermediate School as part of the Orange Cares program with Kelly Hall, a third-grade teacher at the school, and Frank Sheboy, Superintendent of the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery School District.
GOSHEN - Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus packed backpacks with food on Wednesday at Highland Falls Intermediate School for students in the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery Central School District as part of the County’s Orange Cares program.

Neuhaus was accompanied at the event by Orange County Legislator Jim DiSalvo, Orange County Department of Social Services Commissioner Darcie Miller, Dr. Frank Sheboy, Superintendent of the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery School District, and Josie Ramnani, Children’s Programs Coordinator, Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.

“I’m pleased that we have brought this program to the Highland Falls School district and I look forward to implementing Orange Cares in other schools in Orange County this year,” Neuhaus said. “It’s gratifying to know that the program has been a success and has helped thousands of students and their families in a profound way. It was gratifying to pack these backpacks with Dr. Sheboy and some of his staff.”

Neuhaus and the rest of the group at Highland Falls Intermediate School packed a variety of food into approximately 100 backpacks, including produce, pasta, juice, canned food, milk, cereal and bread. Orange Cares has now been implemented in the Chester, Highland Falls, Port Jervis, Middletown and Newburgh school districts, serving approximately 500 students each month. Approximately 4,773 backpacks were distributed during the 2015-16 school year, containing the equivalent of 28,638 meals.

Neuhaus and Orange County Commissioner of Social Services Darcie Miller announced a partnership in September of 2015 with Food Bank of the Hudson Valley to assist children in Orange County who are considered food insecure through the Orange Cares initiative. Orange County invested $375,000 into Orange Cares to jumpstart this important program. Childhood food insecurity refers to the percentage of children under 18 living in households that experience limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods at some point during the year.

Approximately 10.2 percent of Orange County’s population (38,230 residents) is classified as food insecure.

“The Orange Cares program has been invaluable to the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery Central School District, providing more than 3,000 weekend meal backpacks for our students over the past year,” Sheboy said. “In addition, working with the Town of Highlands Recreation Department, the program supported our children and their nutrition needs over the summer. Our school and community’s response to and gratitude for the program have been heartwarming. I’m grateful to County Executive Neuhaus and Commissioner Miller for all of their support.”

If you are a school or school district interested in the Orange Cares program, please e-mail the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley at info@regionalfoodbank.net.

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