If you Google me, you'll see I write for the New York Times and have won awards for some of my young adult books. I've been a writer and photographer in the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years, a teacher and a mentor.
You might not guess how hard I've been hit by the economy-- unable to find regular work and facing foreclosure, afraid that I might not only lose my house but have to leave the community.
After many months of fear and panic, and searching for solutions—including applying for hundreds of jobs—BAM-- the idea for Hudson Valley WOW TV landed in my brain.
Time to do something positive—and fun!
I thought it would be great to get out and see what new perspectives and heroes I could find, as well as providing programming on green living, health, raltionships and the arts and nonprofits. For the first few shows, I'm focusing on health and wellness (in many forms) and will be featuring pieces on where to get help or volunteer or maybe both at once! The lines between us are blurring, and I'm glad about that!
Needing help, as well as the desire to help, is what brought me here; it's good to know there are places to go where you can both give and recieve. AKA, a community!
This is not a comprehensive guide, but if
you need a cooked meal or some fresh food to take home,
or you know someone facing tough economic times, here are a few food pantries, food distribution sites and soup kitchens in the Woodstock/ Kingston area. All great places to volunteer, and every single hour helps, particularly during the holiday season.
If you are feeling grateful for what you have, volunteering keeps the love flowing—and takes the edge off any holiday loneliness! Definitely the perfect way to connect with others.
Contributions of food and money are also fantastic!
For volunteers: you could start with the big grandaddy of the local organizations,
the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. It is a branch of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and a member of Feeding America, the national food bank network. CLICK on AGENCY LIST to see service places, soup kitchens and food pantries listed by county. There are hundreds of places!
If the Food Bank is the grandaddy, then Family of Woodstock, is the Fairy Godmother of organizations, serving Ulster Coutny and surrounding areas since 1970, helping to fight homelessness, build strong communties, end domestic violence, be there for teens and assist with emergency food and shelter. They have food pantries and can often head people toward logner term solutions. Ellenville: 647 2443; New Paltz 255-8801; Woodstock 679 2485, or Kingston 338-2370.
Queens Galley of Kingston, 254 Washington Avenue, has served thousands of wholesome meals. You do not have to prove income and families with children, as well as people from all situations are welcome; the purpose of the soup kitchen is to provide for those faced with any issue of food insecurity, due to the economy. Breakfast is served 8:00am-9:00am. Lunch is served noon - 1:00pm Dinner is served 5:00pm-6:00pm.
Helping Hands of NY, in Phoenicia has distributed more than 170,000 pounds of food this past year, providingmeals to 600 peopel a month. And now PET FOOD is available! FOOD DISTRUBUTION DATES & LOCATION
Dates - 2nd & 4th Mondays of each month.
(The pantry will be closed on Holidays falling on Mondays. Will open the next day TUESDAY)
Location - M.F. Whitney Firehouse rt. 214
Phoenicia, NY 3pm – 7pm.
More dates will be posted soon.
Anyone in need of help please
Call 845-688-9825 or email
Volunteers, donations of food & people experienced in fund raising Needed for all the organizations.