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Rockland Volunteers Help Distribute Huge Food Donation to the Hungry; ‘The Rockland Way’ Celebrated for Helping Our Neighbors in Need

Rockland did what it does best on Monday – it reached out to help thousands of its neighbors in need with hundreds of cases of meat, crates of canned goods and boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fifty-thousand pounds of food was donated yesterday by Digital Media Solutions and Produce Depot USA and distributed through People to People, Rockland’s largest food pantry.

At mid-morning Monday, dozens of medical-masked volunteers, braving a bitter wind, formed two lines behind a tractor trailer in the empty parking lot at the Shops at Nanuet. The cases, crates and boxes were passed off from the back of the truck, handed down the line person-to-person and stacked three-feet high and 10-feet wide on the asphalt.

In two hours, the line of stacked food stretched more than halfway across the giant parking lot.

People to People Board of Directors’ President Neil Winter, the regional and community affairs director at Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. said, “I grew up in Rockland and have worked most of my professional life here. I know this county and its people. Today, you are seeing The Rockland Way.”

People to People CEO Diane Serratore said, “COVID-19 has created a food emergency the likes of which most of us have never seen. People are out of work, they are out of money, but they are not out of hope, and today proves they have not been forgotten.”

Winter praised the donors’ generosity, “Louie Ruelas, the co-founder of Digital Media Solutions, grew up in Orangeburg. He knows what it means to look out for his neighbors, to be generous to people in need. That’s what he learned at Tappan Zee High School. He grew up on The Rockland Way.”

Once the tractor trailer was unloaded, a caravan of at least 20 SUVs, panel trucks, church mini-buses and cars, large and small, snaked through the parking lot as affiliated food pantries and agencies, and unaffiliated organizations joined in accepting the generous bounty. Those food pantries will further distribute the donated food to their consumers. The volunteers created loading stations through the parking lot, packing the vehicles at one stop with cases of chicken, the next crates of potatoes, the third boxes of apples and oranges, next canned goods, then household paper products until the vehicles were brimming and the line ended. Finally, the remaining food was trucked to People to People’s warehouse for further distribution to its consumers.

Here’s how to contribute to help support our hungry neighbors:

People to People
121 West Nyack Road, Nanuet NY 10954
(845) 623-4900

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.