PAWLING – It’s common to see food drives – whether they’re run by school parent-teacher organizations, churches, non-profits and others – before major holidays. Those charitable efforts ensure families have what they need for a bountiful Thanksgiving feast or a festive Christmas dinner.
But how is hunger addressed in the middle of summer, when many children lack access to school breakfast and lunch programs? In rural districts such as Pawling, it’s a problem that can’t be solved with summer meal programs based out of local schools.
That’s where CSEA members teaming up with the Pawling Rotary Club and Pawling Resource Center are making a difference.
Recently, several of our members working for the Pawling Central School District Transportation Department volunteered on a scorching hot Sunday to urge community members shopping at the local Hannaford supermarket to fill a district school bus with non-perishable food and other supplies, donations that will be available through the food pantry at the Pawling Resource Center.
This is the fourth year our members have volunteered at this Stuff A Bus event, organized by the Pawling Rotary Club. Pawling School District Unit Executive Vice President Kevin Richard, along with members Yvette Gerard and Paul Stoveland, represented our union.
Richard said CSEA members in Pawling are proud to support the annual event, pointing out that they are also town residents, volunteer there in various capacities, and understand the need that arises in summer.
According to Pawling Resource Center Executive Director Terry Ariano, volunteers collected over 1,800 pounds of food, 3,305 diapers, 579 rolls of paper goods, and 50 $100 Hannaford gift cards, in addition to financial donations.