HUDSON — The city of Hudson is receiving $8,366 for its 2020 Youth Center Community Food Distribution Program. Responding to needs during the coronavirus pandemic, the community food program provided residents with reliable access to healthy food. The grant is from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, distributed through the Columbia County Board of Supervisors and Columbia County Youth Bureau.
The pandemic led to increased unemployment, especially for low-income workers. School closings exacerbated food insecurity because many of Hudson’s young people have depended on school for breakfast and lunch.
The City of Hudson responded by developing a food distribution program that served over 500 people twice a week. The Youth Center designed and managed the program to best meet the needs of residents.
The program also served as an important link between the Youth Center and residents. It was an opportunity to strengthen relationships, support each other, and problem solve. It also served to distribute hand sanitizer and masks as well as share information about coronavirus, resources, upcoming activities, and ways to get involved.
“When people are struggling, we need to pull together to help each other,” says Mayor Kamal Johnson. “Thank you to everyone who made this program possible: the Youth Center staff, Friends of Hudson Youth, volunteers, numerous donors and supporters, Columbia County, and New York State.”
The grant reimburses some of the expenses for the program incurred from March to July 2020. Most of the food costs were covered through private donations raised through Friends of Hudson Youth.