OSWEGO — With schools officially closed for the academic year and childcare centers shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of families who rely on school meals to feed their children now face increased food insecurity. Missed meals can lead to fatigue, reduced immune response, and long-term medical issues.
Now, government programs like C.F.A.P (Coronavirus Food Assistance Program) have made funds available to ensure more families have free access to nutrient-rich milk, as well as meat and produce.
American Dairy Association North East is coordinating two food distribution drive-thrus in Oswego County this week thanks in part to Food Bank of Central New York and the office of Assemblyman Will Barclay and the Oswego County Legislature. More than 8,000 gallons of milk will be handed out along with 35,000 pounds of produce and 16,000 pounds of meat between the two events. Each household will receive two gallons of milk and one box each of produce (22 pounds) and meat (10 pounds) while supplies last.
The giveaways will take place at:
· Oswego Speedway (300 E. Albany St., Oswego) beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 10. All traffic must enter from the east bound lane on East Albany Street only – no left hand turn into the speedway will be allowed.
· Catholic Charities of Oswego in Fulton (808 West Broadway, Fulton) beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 11.
To ensure the safety and health of all involved in the distribution and comply with social distancing guidelines, there will be a drive-thru process. Residents are asked to stay in their car until they are prompted to receive their milk by either popping their trunk or opening a window.
American Dairy Association North East represents over 10,000 dairy farms and plays a vital role in bringing milk processors and food banks together to ensure that families have access to nutritious milk and dairy foods. “We help these groups navigate their way through the process to maximize the benefits of government programs for their communities,” says Rick Naczi, CEO, American Dairy Association North East. “We are fortunate that we can rely our nations’ farmers to grow and produce an abundance of food to feed and nourish our families.”
Since the pandemic began in March, ADANE has helped to deliver more than 250,000 gallons of milk from local dairy farmers and dairy processers to those in need across a six-state region that includes New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C.