The Yorktown Food Security Task Force’s work will consist of advising the Town Board on how best to address food security issues among the town’s residents, raising awareness of food insecurity and enhancing services to food insecure residents and their families.
“We live in a region that is commonly perceived to be prosperous, but among us are families that struggle to meet their basic needs in a high-cost environment. This new task force is part of our effort to ensure that we support our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Supervisor Matt Slater.
According to the United Way’s recent ALICE report, all but one of New York’s 62 counties has 30 percent or more households earning less than what is needed to afford a basic household budget.
The new task force will have at least five volunteer members who will be appointed by the Town Board. The task force’s meetings will be open to the public and posted on the town’s website.
There are two food pantries in Yorktown that will join the task force. The local food pantries are operated by the First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown and the Community Food Pantry at St. Mary’s Mohegan Lake. During the pandemic demand for the food pantries has increased. At the First Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, the number of families served has more than doubled.
“The value of creating the task force is to enable us to pool our insights to get a better idea of the real need in Yorktown, and to pool our resources to better fill the need,” said Katharine Frase, co-director of the First Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, which has operated for more than 30 years. “A longer term goal might be to work to reduce the causes of food insecurity in our community through policy and programs.”
The Community Food Pantry at St. Mary’s saw demand increase during the pandemic from 90 to 105 families a week to just under 500 families, although the demand has fallen recently as more residents return to their jobs. Cynthia Secor-Smith, a warden at St. Mary’s and food pantry board member, said the task force will raise more awareness about the true scope of food insecurity in Yorktown.
“There is a significant number of people in Yorktown that live paycheck to paycheck. I’m think that the general public doesn’t realize that,” said Secor-Smith, adding that the task force will enhance dialog with town officials. “We’re all going to be speaking with the supervisor at one time with one voice. That’s going to be a big help for us.”
Click here for a link to the task force resolution.
Contact: Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater, 914-962-5722 x 201 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE: Ernie Garcia | Publicist | Thompson & Bender