Food distribution planned

AMSTERDAM– Representatives in the city are trying to help the residents in the best way they can since many local businesses and restaurants have closed, causing many to work from home, or lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak creating a greater need for food.

The city of Amsterdam will be distributing food including fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, canned food and other items on Friday in Veteran’s Field starting at 10:30 a.m. until food is gone. Food is being donated from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. There is approximately 15 pallets of food to be distributed.

Mayor Michael Cinquanti said with the current economic status the city is in due to restaurants and businesses closing, the representatives in the city thought it would be a good idea to help those in need as much as they could.

Cinquanti said as more food is needed by people, he hopes this food distribution event would also help ease some of the burden off of local food pantries.

“We thought it would be a good thing to do for the city,” Cinquanti said.

To help keep the event as safe as possible, and to follow social distancing guidelines, strict protective measures will be taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All volunteers will be wearing face masks, latex gloves and will maintain a six foot distance. All those going to the walk-in food pickup station will also be required to maintain a distance of six feet between themselves and others.

Members from the Department of Public Works will be there directing traffic, and members from the Amsterdam Police Department will be there on hand to keep everyone safe and to make sure everyone stays at least six feet apart.

Volunteers who will be there distributing the food will also have a training session on how to maintain six feet at all times while distributing the bags of food in an assembly line as they unload the food off the pallets and bag the food. There will be signs up reminding people to always remain six feet apart.

Cinquanti said if the event is a success, he hopes to continue to have more food distribution events for the city at least once a month, however, it would also depend on the food availability.

“If Friday proves to do well, we will continue to do it as often as we can,” Cinquanti said.

Area residents will have three different ways to receive their food by either drive-in pickup, walk-in pickup or home delivery.

Those who have a vehicle and prefer to drive in and pick up their food can do so at the drive-in food pick up station located in the upper parking lot on the Locust Avenue side of Veteran’s field.

For walkers who don’t have a vehicle, a walk-in food pick up station will be located in the lower parking lot of the Locust Avenue side of Veteran’s field.

Home delivery will be available on a very limited basis for individuals who are physically unable to leave their homes. Anyone who would like home delivery must reserve food by phone by calling (518) 332-8099 for English speaking residents or at (518) 300-0886 for Spanish-speaking residents. Calls for delivery will be accepted today between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.


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