Hudson Valley nonprofits accepting holiday help this season

For many, the holiday season is a time to give back to the community and show appreciation for organizations that help those in need.

From food banks to animal shelters, there are dozens of nonprofits in Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties working hard to serve the community — and this year, more than ever, they are in need of volunteers and donations.

Volunteers Xinyi Shen, 17, left, Chisanupong Chapanon, 17, center, and Andrew Guo, 17, right, all from Cornwall, look at food labels to sort them into categories at the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-on-Hudson on November 11 2021.

Food insecurity

When the COVID-19 pandemic began last March, an estimated 35 million people were food insecure across the country, Sarah Jean, director of the Hudson Valley Food Bank, said. Now that the pandemic has affected nearly every part of our lives, from education and work to the economy, that number has jumped by nearly 5 million people, John said.

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This number includes people here in our local communities, some of whom visited a food pantry for the first time ever during the pandemic.

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