Abraham’s Table Feeds the Minds and Bodies of Newburgh’s Future

     The sounds of laughter and playing were audible from the street as children soaked up the sun in the pool at Delano Hitch Memorial Swimming Pool in Newburgh on a recent hot summer afternoon. The only sound a passerby couldn’t hear- the feeling of hunger in the stomachs of children nearby.

     This summer, Abraham’s Table, Inc., in a partnership with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, is working to fill the stomachs of young boys and girls within the Newburgh community. Abraham’s Table, Inc. was formed to sponsor the United States Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program in Newburgh. The Summer Food Service Program provides meals at no cost for children. The mission of Abraham’s Table is to provide nutritious lunches to all children ages two through 18 within the NECSD during the summer months, when free and reduced lunches are not otherwise available.

     “Partnering and having the support of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District is a big plus for us,” explained Abraham’s Table, Inc. President Vonnie Hubbard.

     Abraham’s Table is funded by the New York State Education Department and United States Department of Agriculture. Lunches consist of a sandwich wrap, fresh fruit, juice and milk and are served Monday through Friday.

     Volunteers come to hand out the prepackaged lunches and share a smile with the young students. The program has approximately 45 volunteers that work on a rotating basis.

     “Once the word went out that we needed volunteers to help distribute the prepared lunches in order to make this program a success the community and especially teachers rallied,” explained a grateful Hubbard.

     In addition to the Delano Hitch site, there are ten additional locations throughout the City and Town of Newburgh open to children and no registration is required. Students enrolled in NECSD Extended School Year Programs at five sites are also eligible for the lunches in their respective cafeterias.

     According to Hubbard, the number of students within the Newburgh Enlarged City School District eligible for the free or reduced price lunch program is heartbreaking. Last year, Abraham’s Table was averaging approximately 400 meals a day. This year the program on average distributes 900-1,200 meals depending on the day- nearly doubling their numbers from last year.

     When asked what she hopes the future holds for the program, Hubbard said she would like to explore the possibility of providing meals outside of typical school day hours including weekends and over holiday breaks.

     Currently, donations of gently-loved refrigerators of at least 18 cubic feet are needed for the program. For more information about donating to the program or volunteering please visit www.newburghsummermeals.org.