The Wallkill Valley Regional High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) initiated a food pantry at the high school during the 2016-2017 school year.  Local publicity of this initiative encouraged Christine Parauda, Coordinator of LocalShare, to contact the FBLA members to partner with the non-profit organization in assisting distribution of fresh produce to local food pantries. LocalShare is a program of the Foodshed Alliance, a grass-roots, non-profit organization devoted to promoting sustainable farming and locally grown, fresh, healthy food in northwestern New Jersey.

The Wallkill Valley FBLA 2017-2018 Partnership with Business Project enabled the chapter’s local food pantry to receive fresh produce not destined for the marketplace from the 12 farmers in partnership with LocalShare. In return, FBLA members “gleaned the farm” at Circle Brook Farm in Andover last October; and members will continue to assist local farmers with the new growing season.  Wallkill Valley FBLA Community Service Vice Presidents Drew Langenfeld and Kaitlyn Taylor chaired this project.

Wallkill Valley FBLA members joined other volunteers partnering with LocalShare and students became aware of the financial end that must be addressed. Pickup trucks had been donated so that deliveries of produce could be made to local food pantries; however, the volunteers pay for the gasoline for these deliveries out of their own pocket.  Wallkill Valley FBLA donated $250 to LocalShareNJ on April 20, 2018, to help defray the cost of gasoline.

Pictured: Wallkill Valley FBLA members Tyler Small, Drew Langenfeld, Garett Koch, and Harshil Bhavsar present Mrs. Christine Parauda, Coordinator of LocalShareNJ, with a $250 donation to help defray costs of delivering produce to local food pantries.