Free and Reduced School Meals Program Recipients Benefit from Generosity of Ruge’s Automotive

Local automotive business covers cost of 2019-2020 school year meal balances for eligible students from Rhinebeck and Millbrook School Districts

Rhinebeck, New York…Ruge’s Automotive announced today that it will be delivering checks to both Millbrook Central School District and Rhinebeck Central School District to cover meal balances district-wide for those students eligible for the Free and Reduced School Meals Program during the 2019-2020 school year. This is the second year in a row that Ruge’s has done so for Rhinebeck, the community that their Subaru and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram stores call home, and will be the first year Ruge’s has provided a similar donation to Millbrook Schools, where the Ruge’s Chevrolet store is located.

According to the Rhinebeck Central School District website, the free and reduced meal program is available to students living in households receiving benefits from SNAP, the Food Distribution Program on reservations or TANF, and those whose household’s gross income meets Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. The philanthropic efforts of Ruge’s Automotive has resulted in direct financial support for many initiatives over the years, including Northern Dutchess Hospital Foundation, American Legion Post 429, Rhinebeck Rotary, Taconic Little League, among many others. This year, families from the Rhinebeck Central School District and Millbrook Central School District who are in financial need will also benefit from the company’s generosity. Included among the Ruge’s set of guiding principles is: “The importance of paying it forward through sponsorships and donations to initiatives that enhance quality of life for people throughout our region and beyond.”

Said Joseph Phelan, Superintendent, Rhinebeck Central School District, “In today’s heightened climate of food insecurity, we are deeply appreciative, on behalf of our families, of Ruge’s generosity again this year to cover the outstanding cafeteria charges for our “free and reduced price” eligible students. It also has been our school district’s privilege to provide free daily school breakfasts and lunches to all children through age 18 who live in our school district, regardless of where they attend school, since March 16th. Starting with 45 total meals during the first week of the covid-19 school closure, we are now providing 450 breakfasts and 450 lunches each school day. The need in our community to combat food insecurity is palpable. Thanks to Ruge’s for supporting our most financially vulnerable families.”

Added Millbrook Central School District Superintendent of Schools, Laura Mitchell,”We are so grateful for the generosity of our local car dealership. This was a wonderful, community-minded gesture.”

“I couldn’t be prouder to work as part of the Ruge’s team,” noted Joe Monaco, Director of Sales and Marketing at Ruge’s Automotive. “This is a business who is truly a pillar of the community – always looking for ways to enrich the lives of others. They really lead by example, and it’s exciting to see the impact that they make.”

Added Kristin Ruge Hutchins, President at Ruge’s Automotive, “Especially in times like these, it’s important that our community come together to support those in need. This is one way of doing our part to help local students understand that we’re all in it together.”

For more information on Rhinebeck Central School District’s Free and Reduced Student Meals Program, visit To learn more about Millbrook Central School District’s program, visit
For further information on community donations on behalf of Ruge’s Automotive, visit

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