Home to the once infamous maximum security prison known as Sing Sing, the town of Ossining sits alongside New York’s Hudson River just 17 miles north of Family-to-Family’s headquarters.
With a population of over 38,000, Ossining is an ethnically diverse community where 35% of residents identify as Hispanic or Latino; 30% percent are recent immigrants to the U.S. and 41% of households speak a language other than English in the home. Many families also struggle with low literacy levels.
- 54% of children in Ossining are eligible for and receive free or reduced lunch at school, with enrollment rising.
- 42% of children live in households that are either low-income or below the federal poverty line
- Over 15% of all families have an annual income under $35,000, money that doesn’t go far enough in a town where the cost of living is 30% higher than the national average (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
In response to the needs of the community, the Ossining School District has sought to redefine the role of the schools in order to bridge gaps in community services and meet the needs of students and families who are increasingly relying on the schools for support. The district has been innovative in its efforts to raise awareness of poverty in the community, including through the introduction of a “simulated poverty experience” designed to raise awareness of and empathy towards issues of food scarcity and poverty among the student body and parents.
To help combat hunger there, Family-to-Family works with the Ossining School District, which identifies families in need for our family sponsorship program. Ossining sponsored families receive a monthly grocery gift card to the local Stop & Shop supermarket where they can shop for what they most need.
US Census Bureau, Community Survey 2016-2017
Ossining Educators Participate in Poverty Simulation Experience
Ossining Community Snapshot