AMSTERDAM — The city of Amsterdam, in conjunction with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and with the help of numerous local organizations, will be holding a food distribution event on Friday for city residents, starting at 10:30 a.m. and lasting until the food runs out.
The Regional Food Bank is providing 15 pallets of food for the event, which will be held at Veteran’s Field with separate drive-up and walk-up options — along with limited delivery — in order to maintain required social distancing.
Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti said he was proud the city could help provide assistance to the community during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m so happy we could do this, to bring all these partners together,” Cinquanti said. “We’re really excited about it. We hope to do it again, and we’re looking forward to Friday going as smoothly as it can.”
At Friday’s event, the drive-in, pick-up station will be in the upper parking lot of Veteran’s Field on the Locust Avenue side. There is a limit of one bag of food per car.
The walk-in, pick-up station for those without vehicles will be located at the lower parking lot of Veteran’s Field on the Locust Avenue side.
Cinquanti said both the Amsterdam Police Department and the city Department of Public Works will be on hand to help maintain required social distancing for both volunteers and those picking up food.
“We feel that we can do it in an orderly manner and a safe manner, so we can protect both the volunteers and the people coming in to pick up the food,” Cinquanti said.
“The facility at Veteran’s is perfect,” he continued. “We’ve got an upper lot, a lower lot, so we can keep pedestrians away from car traffic, keep pedestrians at a six-foot distance between themselves, spread it out so that our volunteers aren’t on top of each other, have a place for the pallets to be unloaded. It’s really a good facility.”
There is also home delivery available on a very limited basis for those who are unable to leave. Those requiring home delivery must call one of two dedicated phone numbers Thursday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to set up delivery. English-speaking residents should call 518-332-8099, while Spanish-speaking residents should call 518-300-0886.
In addition to the city and the Regional Food Bank, the event is being coordinated in conjunction with Montgomery County, Walmart Amsterdam, Catholic Charities, Centro Civico, St. Mary’s Healthcare, MVP Healthcare and AMEN Place Soup Kitchen.
“It’s going to take about 40 volunteers and many people working in conjunction with each other to do it,” Montgomery County District 9 Legislator Robert Purtell said.
The 15 pallets of food — about 15,000 pounds, Cinquanti said — will have a wide array of items to be distributed.
“A little bit of everything — a lot of everything, actually,” he said. “We just hope that the demand and the amount of food match.”
The expectation, Cinquanti said, is that the food is “probably going to run out, but that’s a good thing because it means that we’re reaching people.”
“If we do run out,” he added, “we know exactly what we’re going to need next time.”