Food insecurity is a significant problem in White Plains, NY, and households with children are particularly affected. White Plains is a city of 58,000 residents, of which about 11,600 are under 18 years of age. Census data indicates that 28% of households have incomes less than $50,000 per year, and that 12% of White Plains children live in households below the poverty line. Participation in the White Plains School District's Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program is high: out of total enrollment of 7,067, 55% or 3,864 students are qualified to participate.
As a result of the pandemic and inflationary conditions, many more families have become reliant on local food pantries to help feed their children, and the non-profit organization, Feeding Westchester, distributes food to pantries throughout the county. In White Plains, it distributes to eight pantries at community centers and churches, plus five or six mobile pantry sites at schools and low-income housing complexes.
Our project will be to provide funding of $3,000 to Feeding Westchester to support its food pantry distribution programs. We will coordinate with El Centro Hispano, which sponsors a bi-monthly mobile food pantry supplied by Feeding Westchester at the Post Road Elementary School, to include White Plains Rotarians as volunteers at several food distributions during the fall of 2022. At one of these volunteer events, we will also distribute 240 children's winter hat and glove sets purchased with grant funds. These will help children stay healthy as cold weather approaches, and will help parents stretch their budgets a little bit.
We are also budgeting $250 for a Rotary logo tablecloth to achieve visibility for Rotary within our community. It will be used at our table at the mobile food pantry event, and can be used at numerous community events in the future.
To further our support of Feeding Westchester, we will work with its volunteer coordinator to schedule a volunteer event at its Elmsford warehouse. These typically involve repacking food items into individual bags for families. We anticipate holding this event in the spring of 2023.
Financial support of Feeding Westchester: $3,000
240 children's hat & glove sets: $1,000
Rotary logo tablecloth: $250