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Highland - October 20

Paula Campbell - Community Correspondent
Posted 10/19/20

As the Covid-19 pandemic starts its second wave and hospitalizations are increasing our County seems to be holding its own. But still any meaningful recovery has not taken hold and our County's …

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Highland - October 20


As the Covid-19 pandemic starts its second wave and hospitalizations are increasing our County seems to be holding its own. But still any meaningful recovery has not taken hold and our County's unemployment rate is hovering around 10.9% while the State's unemployment rate as of September is 12.6%. (not seasonally adjusted.)

For many their unemployment benefits are their only lifeline as people struggle to stay afloat and pay their bills and feed their families and hunger is certainly on the rise and the increase of insufficient food for children has recently risen at least ten percent.

During the pandemic I have been volunteering every Thursday at the St Anthony's food pantry in Yulan. It was there that I learned about the work of the not for profit “A Single Bite” prepared food program. Another pantry volunteer is Johnny Pizzolato, the co-owner of the Stickett Inn in Barryville and the President of the Barryville Farmer's Market.

Johnny told me that because of the very generous donations from the supporters of the Barryville Farmers Market, they have been able to donate funds to support “A Single Bite” prepared meals at St Anthony's Pantry and a portion of the money raised to support the Market's Pennsylvania families in need at St. Ann's Church in Shohola.

The program “A Single Bite” has been in operation for about four years now. Sims Foster who co-founded Foster Supply Hospitality along with his wife Kirsten built an innovative company of small boutique hotels and restaurants located in Sullivan County and “community first” is a core value of their business.

Sims modeled his father's work with children and designed a nutritional education curriculum to change the way young children think about food choices by asking children to try “A Single Bite” of new foods they have never had before. The program also brought children to local farms so they could see where real food is grown and empower students and their families to care about the food they eat and where it comes from.

When the pandemic began and closed schools and just about everything else, the Foster's wanted to help their community and keep their culinary staff employed and started their prepared meals program using fresh foods from our local farms.

Last weekend, A Single Bite had an information table at the Barryville Farmer's Market, and I spoke with Anastasia Ocheretina, the Program Manager. She told me that “A Single Bite” is working with community organizations such as food pantries, the Lion's and the Rotary Clubs, SALT ( Sullivan Agencies Leading Together) and churches to outreach and spread the word to people who may be in need of food.

Anastasia said that they are still figuring out how to best help the schools and are serving children at the schools for whom the meal may be their only substantial nutritional food for the day. “A Single Bite” is strongly committed to continue through Covid-19 second wave and until there is no longer a need in the community. During the pandemic, so far “A Single Bite” has already prepared and distributed more than 46,000 freshly prepared meals up to 2,500 servings per week, an amazing accomplishment!

“A Single Bite is part of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan County. To make a tax-deductible donation, make your check to A Single Bite, Post Office Box 595, Youngsville New York 12791 or donate online at their website.

For more information about enrolling in the prepared meals program or questions you can go to asinglebite.org, or email info@asinglebite.org or call 845-482-1030.

Just a note- next weekend is the last opportunity for in person outdoor shopping at the Barryville Farmers Market. More about what will be happening with the Market over the winter next week.


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