February 17, 2017 – Lyn, Molly, Faye and Ionie being interviewed about the pantry by Paul Feiner on his radio show today on WVOX-AM


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February 8 at the Food Pantry

Good morning, everyone – Yesterday we served a total of 20 families, including 28 adults, 26 children and 5 seniors.  They were served by me, Benny, Carol, Eileen, Ellen, Kevin and Tom.
Last Saturday the Dobbs Ferry High School football team did a fantastic food drive for us at Stop & Shop.  The captains, Arman Cherian-Ashe and Ryan Fessler, were there from beginning to end.  Then they brought everything to South Church and piled it in the upstairs office.  There’s a picture of the captains and the team on our website (dobbsferrypantry.org), and a picture of all the bags and bags of food on our Facebook page and twitter feed.  Love those Eagles!!
We’re working away on our grant application to The Church of Saint Barnabas and Barbara M. is helping us.  Next we start on our application to the Giving Circle of Lower Westchester.  Believe me, we need the money.  Donations from people on this list would also help (using the Pay Pal function on the website or sending a check made out to South Presbyterian Church with “pantry” in the memo line).  There are many staples we can’t always find at the Food Bank and we must buy them ourselves.  As our population grows the need grows also.
As part of our application to St. Barnabas we include comments from our clients.  One client wrote a heartwarming note about the pantry – “It is a warm and welcoming place where each person is treated with dignity, respect and love”.  We’ve stuck with this motto:  “feeding the hungry with dignity and respect” since the beginning.
Hope everybody enjoys the snow day.
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Dobbs Ferry H.S. Football Team Food Drive

See below for Pic- please note that the team efforts were coordinated and led by the Team Captains Arman Cherian-Ashe and Ryan Fessler.  Thanks so much to the team for making this huge effort for the Pantry by doing this food drive at Stop & Shop in Dobbs Ferry on Saturday, February 4 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30, then lugging everything over to South Church and putting it all away in an upstairs office.  The team, and their parents, have been Pantry supporters for years now, and we love them for it.  And we also love Stop & Shop for allowing this to happen!
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February 1 at the Food pantry

Good afternoon, everybody – Today we served a total of 25 families, including 38 adults, 34 children and 6 seniors. They were served by me, Benny, Carol, Eileen, Ellen, Kevin, Lyn, Tom and Tricia.

Please remember to do some shopping at Stop & Shop in Dobbs Ferry this coming Saturday, February 4 between 9:00 and 1:30. The Dobbs Ferry HS football team will be doing a food drive for us, so when you shop you can buy a couple of extra things and leave them with the boys. They’ll bring the food over to the church after 1:30 and we can start giving it out on Wednesday. Thanks to everybody who remembers to do this.

We got an e-mail from one of the fourth-grade teachers at Springhurst School. What would we do without the Dobbs Ferry Schools?? They’re always thinking of a way to help! Now the students in the fourth grade will be decorating bags and filling them with cake mix, balloons, candles, etc. so that families can use them for a birthday party. What a great idea. She asked if I knew of another pantry they could donate more bags to and I referred her to the Hastings pantry. They’ll come up with enough bags to serve the clients of two pantries! A million thanks to the teachers, students and parents who will be working on this!

This coming Monday I’ll be representing the Pantry at the Food Bank’s quarterly community gathering at the United Methodist Church in Mount Kisco. Don’t know what they’ll be talking about but it will be good to network with other pantry leaders and see what’s going on at their pantries.

So glad January’s over with. Spring is coming!

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December at the Food pantry

Good afternoon, everyone ­ It was a much more peaceful day at the pantry this morning after all the hubbub around Thanksgiving. Today we served a total of 19 families, including 27 adults, 21 children and 6 seniors. They were served by me, Benny, Carol, Eileen, Ellen, Kevin, Lyn and Mary Anne. Several volunteers spent time upstairs in an office full of shelf­stable food from the Masters School, sorting and bringing the food down to the shelves. This sorting effort was started by me and Nell Klassen from South Church and her friend. We spent an hour sorting and setting aside all the various types of food brought by the Masters students. Thanks so much to Nell and her friend for working so hard. Last Sunday afternoon the Rivertown Center for Yoga and Health had a donation yoga class. Today they gave us an envelope full of cash and checks. What a loving organization. We’re lucky that they’ve been a part of South Church for so many years. And we got a large check from the Presbyterian Women’s Committee of the Irvington Presbyterian Church. They had a gargantuan attic sale a few weeks ago, and I believe this donation comes from the proceeds of that sale. What would we do without the religious organizations in the Rivertowns? They constantly support us in our mission to feed the hungry with dignity and respect. Last week Carol Seischab brought two boxes of food from Zion Episcopal. This week she brought us food from Dobbs Ferry Lutheran. Thank you, Carol, for helping both these organizations support us. Two fun things are coming up: I’ll be at a dinner at the Bonnie Briar Country Club, sponsored by the Giving Circle of Lower Westchester. They’ve given us grants two years in a row, and on top of that, they feed us once a year. And morning the Ardsley United Methodist Church is having a Candy Cane breakfast to honor volunteers in the area. Ellen and I will be there with bells on. Running a pantry is not all work. The next push is Christmas. We’re planning to give some extras to the clients on . on Saturday Tonight Saturday December 23

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Some of our dedicated volunteers


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Thanksgiving week at the Food Pantry

An abundance of riches!

An abundance of riches!

An abundance of riches!

Good afternoon, everybody – On Wednesday in the morning we served a total of 30 families, including 52 adults, 44 children and 6 seniors. They were served by me, Benny, Carol, Eileen, Ellen, Kevin and Mary Anne. Then in the evening we served another 7 families, including 11 adults, 9 children and 3 seniors. They were served by me, Benny and Kevin. This brought us to a total of 37 families with 63 adults, 53 children and 9 seniors. We averaged 41 families a week in November.

We received a windfall of food donations this week, some accompanied by monetary donations as well. Where should I start? On Tuesday morning the volunteers from Springhurst School arrived with over 1,000 food and toiletry items. There were five of us volunteers (including our friend, Bruce Platt) to welcome them with open arms. We marveled at the volunteers, led by Deborah Borwick, organizing this huge effort on the part of the third and fourth-graders, counting everything, packaging it up, loading it into a van, and lugging it into the church. Their strength was amazing.

And just before Springhurst arrived Bruce and a helper came upstairs from the Community Nursery School with many boxes and bags of food donated by the nursery school families.

Then, Carol Seischab came to help with the Springhurst delivery, toting two boxes of food collected by the parishioners at Zion Episcopal. Zion has regularly, consistently gathered food for us and, when the boxes are full, delivered it all through the year. Thank you so much to Zion for your attention to us, and thanks to Carol for carrying the food to us.

Then, while we were putting the food away, a class of children from the Days of Wonder daycare center walked in with bags of food that their parents had donated. Each child was carrying a bag.

A little later a couple from Aldersgate Methodist Church arrived with multiple bags of food, including two turkeys, brought by attendees at the Interfaith Caring Community’s annual Thanksgiving prayer service the night before. Everyone who came to the service brought something for the pantry. They came from Aldersgate, the Greenburgh Hebrew Center, Immaculate Conception Church, Irvington Presbyterian and the Church of St. Barnabas. And they took up a monetary collection and handed us an envelope full of cash they collected for us as well. The ICC is a wonderful, county-wide organization. Thanks to all of you, and to Alan Shapiro, the director of ICC as well.

That was Tuesday.

Then came Wednesday. When we arrived we discovered fifteen homemade apple pies from Mark Pennington, purchased from the Hastings High School culinary club. Next to the pies was a box full of oranges and apples from the Midnight Run.

And out in the hallway were bags of food donated to us by our beloved Barbara M. and her mother and sister.

And while the pantry was in session, in walked Barbara C.’s husband with food donated by Barbara’s students at Westchester Community College, together with food from St. Barnabas in Ardsley.

And the largess continues. This coming Sunday, November 29, the Rivertown Center for Yoga and Health, located here at South Presbyterian Church, will be conducting a yoga class from 4:00 to 5:30 which will be a donation class. Whatever someone pays will be forwarded to the Pantry. They did this for us last year and gave us a sizable amount of money, which was used for extra food for Christmas for our clients. So, everyone on this list who is a yogi or a yogini should plan to be at Rivertown Yoga this Sunday. Thanks so much to Beth Bierko, Director of the Center, for doing this for us.

This past Wednesday, as an extra treat, our own Jen Cadenhead came and did a presentation on sugary drinks and how sugar is metabolized in the system to the pantry clients as they awaited their turn for food. She’s an excellent presenter, and the clients ended up vowing to eat more fresh fruit instead of drinking fruity drinks in the coming weeks. It was entertaining as well as educational. She’ll be doing another presentation in January on vegetables. She’s ServSafe certified, and did a quick observation of our facility, giving advice and suggestions throughout. It was great to see her and to learn what she had to teach us.

We now have three regular donors to the pantry, who have arranged with PayPal (through our website, http://www.dobbsferrypantry.org) to have regular donations made to us every month. This means so much to us to be able to count on regular donations. Thanks to all three of you, and maybe more regular donations will come in the future.

One last comment – we signed up a new client this week. She learned about the pantry because her daughter’s third-grade class at Springhurst was collecting food for us. What wonderful karma. This woman will be helped regularly in the future because of Spinghurst’s – and Spring Community Partners’ – efforts. This is what it’s all about.

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South Presbyterian Church’s Gala on Saturday, November 21

Hello, everybody – This is an extra e-mail to let everybody know about South Church’s annual gala, which will be held on Saturday, November 21 at 6:00 in South Church’s fellowship hall.  It costs $125 a ticket, or $100 if you have a table of ten.  The money this year will go to support South’s justice ministries, including our Pantry as well as the Midnight Run, Roots & Wings, Cluster (helping at-risk youth in Yonkers), and our various LGBTQ efforts. 

The price of your ticket will get you access to a silent auction (while sipping wine and eating hors d’oeuvres), followed by a sumptuous meal created by our own professional chef, Peter Brenner.  After dinner we go into the sanctuary for an evening of music provided by some of South’s own professional classical musicians and their friends and co-workers.  One member of South is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and she has lots of friends.  The music every year is superb.  Then back into fellowship hall for dessert.  So, for the evening fellowship hall is transformed into a luxurious restaurant and the sanctuary becomes a concert hall.  And all for a good cause!
I’m sending this to you because you’re all supporters of the Pantry, which means charitable causes are important to you.  This is a chance to have a wonderful evening without having to travel into the city, knowing that the money you spend will help a lot of needy people.  If you’re interested in attending and would like to buy a ticket, please either call the church at 693-4073.
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This week at the Food Pantry

Hello, everybody – Today we served 39 families, including 59 adults, 51 children and 10 seniors.  They were served by me, Benny, Carol, Eileen, Ellen, Lyn, Kevin, Mary Anne and Enzina.  Enzina is a teacher, but because today was a holiday she was able to come specifically to read to and entertain the children who come with our clients.  What a difference that makes!  thank you so much, Enzina!

This week we have a total of three different food drives going on for us – one at the Masters School, one at Springhurst and one at the Dobbs Ferry Woman’s Club.  We need all this food, and we appreciate each and every organization that makes this effort for us – and I know it’s a huge effort in each case.  We’ll have to figure out where we’re going to store the food because the South Church annual Gala takes place on Saturday the 21st (I hope many of you are coming), and there won’t be much storage space for our food until the Gala is over.  We’ll figure it out one way or another.
This coming week we’ll be giving out an extra bag of Thanksgiving-ish food to our clients along with their usual food.  We’ll be giving out some shelf-stable foods like cranberry sauce, along with some fresh vegetables and fruits like apples and potatoes.  Plus each client will get two $10 gift cards to be spent at Stop & Shop in whatever way they want.  The Woman’s Club is donating several turkey breasts.  We’re planning to give those gift cards instead of meat, but we’ll hold a drawing during the pantry to see who wins the turkey breasts.  Then, the day before Thanksgiving, we’ll give pies to give out – including, according to Carol S., some donated by Dobbs Diner.  Thanks, DD, and thanks, Carol S. for arranging this for us.
The day before Thanksgiving will also be a day when Jen Cadenhead comes to give our clients a presentation about nutrition.  I’ll translate for the Spanish-speaking people.  It will be wonderful to see Jen again after all this time.
This past Saturday a merry time was had at South Church because there was a free clothing boutique held by Spring Community Partners.  Many of our pantry clients were there, and several others first learned about the pantry while they were there.  Since Spring has been doing this boutique for several years, though not at South, the event went very smoothly, and everyone had a wonderful time.  This event may happen again at South at some point.  Hope so.
I looked at last year’s e-mail from the week before Thanksgiving, and we served about the same number of people.  We had extra food for them, but not as much as we have this year.  This is because we’ve received some generous monetary donations from people and organizations, and we’re putting it towards our clients.  Hope we can continue at this rate.
Also last year, we couldn’t be open in the evening the night before Thanksgiving because of snow!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a continuation of good weather this year.
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October news from the Food Pantry

Good evening, everyone – Yesterday, since it was the last Wednesday of the month, we were open from10:00 to 12:00, and again from 5:30 to 7:00.  In the morning we served 25 families, including 36 adults, 29 children and 10 seniors.  They were served by Benny, Eileen, Ellen, Kevin, Lyn and Mary Anne.  Then in the evening, despite the terrible weather, we served another 6 families, including 10 adults, 7 children and 2 seniors.  They were served by me, Benny, Kevin and Martha.  This made a total of 31 families, including 46 adults, 36 children and 12 seniors.  For the month of October we served 133 families, including 207 adults, 155 children and 40 seniors.  We averaged 33 families a week in October.

This week we received a tremendous gift from the Anbinder Family Foundation.  They are a wonderful philanthropic foundation.  Once we’re sure they won’t mind if we publicize the fact that they’ve given us a grant (some foundations prefer to remain anonymous) we’ll post the news on Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Our pantry is so lucky that the Anbinder Foundation is aware of us.
This week also, two individuals arranged with PayPal, through our website (www.dobbsferrypantry.org), to have regular monthly donations given to the pantry.  And another person did this over the summer.  This is a tremendous benefit to us – to have a regular, consistent source of income, be it $10 or $15 a month or more, to rely on.  This means we can count on ordering food regularly from the Food Bank because we know we have a steady flow of gifts from caring individuals to count on.  Thank you so much to these individuals.
Sad news:  This past Sunday was the final Sunday for our share of produce from the Roots & Wings CSA.  Our clients have grown accustomed to having a variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from every week.  We’ve also been able to offer produce from the Roots & Wings garden and the Springhurst garden, but all good things must come to an end (except that I still see some kale and herbs in the Roots & Wings garden).  Our clients can still count on our once-a-month Green Thumb grant from the Food Bank, which will provide some fresh fruits and vegetables all winter long, but it will be a huge downward adjustment – both for them and for us.  Thank you, especially to Roots & Wings, for giving us such a wonderful summer.  And thank you to Springhurst for being one of the few schools to maintain a garden for the children (and their parents) to learn from.  This will stay with the children for the rest of their lives.
 We just heard from Spinghurst!  They will be doing three food drives for us throughout the school year, as they have for several years past.  Debra Borwick is the soul and body of the Kids Can! campaign, and we thank her from the bottom of our hearts for the effort she puts in to carry out these food drives.  If anybody is able to help with these drives, please let us know and we’ll put you in touch with Debra.  Thanks and thanks again, Debra.
A final thank-you is in order for the Philanthropy Committee of the Community Nursery School at South Church for providing our clients with costumes for Halloween.  Many of these families do not have extra funds to provide their children with costumes, but with people in the community like the Philanthropy Committee, gently used costumes were made available both last week and this week – and many people went happily home with costumes for their children and grandchildren.  Those costumes were adorable.  A thousand thanks, CNS!
We’ve still been blessed with more beautiful warm weather.  Soak it up, everybody.
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