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September 26th, 2012

This Week in Orange County 9-26-12

Orange County Executive Edward Diana
This week it was my great pleasure to participate in the annual kick-off of ShopRite’s Partners in Caring program. This hunger-fighting initiative brings attention to the needs in our community and works to meet those needs through donations of both food and money. Since the program was founded in 1999, ShopRite Partners in Caring has donated $27 million to more than 1,700 charities in their six state coverage area. We are very fortunate that the Orange County Veterans Food Pantry is a beneficiary of ShopRite’s generosity – as are the 186 veterans and veteran families that are served by our food pantry.
To bring attention to the issue of hunger that is, unfortunately, very real and very present even here in our beautiful County, I joined with other elected officials at the Chester ShopRite to bag groceries for store patrons. As we packed groceries, store personnel and volunteers had the opportunity to discuss with shoppers the reason for us being there. What we are experiencing at the Veterans Food Pantry was echoed by the volunteers on hand from the Greenwood Lake Food Pantry and the Goshen Ecumenical Food Pantry – those requiring assistance to meet their food needs continues to increase.
September is Hunger Action Month. According to the non-profit organization, Feeding America, more than 50 million people in America face hunger – that’s 1 in 6 of the U.S. population and more than 1 in 5 children. If you are able to help with donations of food, money, or manpower, please contact a food pantry in your community. The Orange County Veterans Food Pantry can be reached by contacting Veterans Affairs Director Tony Zippo at 291-2464.
Director Zippo was recently honored by Jewish Family Service for his commitment to the people of Orange County. He was a recipient of the Star Award at their annual Light Up Our Lives and 28th anniversary dinner. Keep up the great work Tony! Also honored were Anita Manley, Flo Hannes, and Greater Middletown Interfaith Council. Congratulations to all!
September also marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15 to October 15. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.
Here in Orange County, we are proud to recognize our Hispanic Heritage which has and continues to contribute greatly to the fabric of our community. The history, culture, food, music, traditions, language, and more have helped shape and influence our County. Among those of Hispanic descent who once called Orange County home was the first president of Cuba, Tomas Estrada Palma, who lived in a home on Route 32 in Central Valley.
Finally, best wishes for a Happy New Year to Orange County’s Jewish residents and friends. L’shanah Tovah! May your year be healthy and happy. 
Until next week,

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