(Piermont, New York) July 22, 2021 — The students of Rockland BOCES Hudson Valley P-TECH, in association with Rockland Community Against Hunger (RCAH), are proud to announce the launch of a redesigned website, www.rocklandhunger.org, which is a vital resource for information regarding food pantries and meal programs and other resources for people with food insecurities.
The website provides information to people interested in finding food pantries and meal programs, as well as those wishing to donate, find volunteer opportunities, or look for other nutrition related resources. New functionality now allows people to search by name, town, zip code, or even day of the week to find a local pantry. The www.rocklandhunger.org website was developed by a group of high school students at Hudson Valley P-TECH for RCAH, a collaboration of food pantries and meal programs and County agencies working together to ensure that no one in Rockland County goes hungry. RCAH is led by TOUCH, BRIDGES, Meals on Wheels, Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center, and the Rockland Department of Health. Since 2011, RCAH has provided millions of pounds of food to all Rockland food pantries and meal programs while improving knowledge, networking among the pantries and creating a true “community” where we are addressing hunger.
Anita Dreichler, Coordinator for RCAH, came to P-TECH with the objective of modernizing the old website. “The RCAH website was developed 10 years ago and is a significant resource for people who are looking for healthy food. It was outdated and crowded with information making it difficult to use. During the COVID19 pandemic, we have been getting more than 600 hits per week on the website, mostly to search for local pantries. Many people going to food pantries either walk or rely on public transportation. Therefore, it is critical that information about food pantries and other nutrition related resources in their neighborhood be easy to locate.”
Michelle Kleinman, Public Health Nutritionist, Rockland County Dept of Health adds, “Needing assistance and finding the right place to go can be an obstacle for many people in the community. Rockland Community Against Hunger’s new website helps to create access by removing some of the barriers and providing some dignity. Residents, students of all ages, community groups and businesses have also used the website to help RCAH by providing their time through volunteer opportunities and monetary donations. This website is more than a place to find a meal program, you’ll find a ‘community’ of resources and truly caring programs.”
Susannah Devine, Co-Founder of Devine Design, worked with the students to teach them how to design a usablevand functional website, and how to utilize the tools to build it, such as WordPress. The students split up the work into different sections including designing a logo, defining menu structures, choosing colors and fonts, designing each page of the website to more effectively present the information from the old website, implementing a search tool to find food pantries, and writing a press release.
According to Dan Kaplan, Principal of Rockland BOCES Hudson Valley P-TECH, “The PTECH students have done an amazing job on this project. Working with their teacher, Aliki Hatzis, and RCAH, they have tackled a real-world issue and this website will have a lasting and positive impact on the daily lives of people with food insecurities. It’s a key part of P-TECH’s mission to involve our students in real-world issues and problems and develop projects that address those issues and find solutions. I am so proud of our students for their interest in and commitment to such an important project.”