Saugerties Mayor William Murphy said volunteers delivered 736 meals on Monday, April 6 to people who had been eligible for free lunches in the schools, but had not been receiving them because schools were closed because of the coronavirus.
Murphy named many individuals who had been helping out, along with veterans groups and many of the school district’s teachers. Greg Chorvas’s Parks and Buildings Department is taking care of the pickups.
“Today we had meals coming from seven different restaurants. That’s revenue for restaurants from Kingston and Saugerties “Within an hour and 20 minutes, we had all 600 deliveries out. It’s really humbling to see that many people…one lady, when her meal got delivered, came to the door with a $10 donation to give back to Ulster County.”
While appreciation for the program is nearly universal, there are a very few exceptions, Murphy said. “On the flip side, we had a lady return a burger last Wednesday. She said she didn’t like her burger and wanted a different meal.”
Restaurants get $10 for each meal they supply, the mayor said, “This gives restaurants the opportunity to bring in people a couple of days a week, and they have some revenue coming in,” Murphy said.
In addition to what the restaurants provide, “Tom Struzzieri of Diamond Mills is providing lunches to that program at no charge.” Struzzieri is also assisting the mayor and volunteers on Tuesday and Friday nights to offer dinners at the Boys and Girls Club of Saugerties. “We had 104 families this past Friday night. Struzzieri doesn’t ask for recognition, but I think he deserves it,” Murphy said.