October 16, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 29 families, including 57 adults, 29 children and 15 seniors, for a total of 101 people.

          Last Thursday we received a huge donation of food from Woodlands Community Temple.  I took a picture of all the boxes of food they brought us.  It took a team of people to bring it all in.  And they had more stops to make when they left!  What a wonderful, loving congregation they are.  Thank you, Woodlands.
          We’re cared for by many congregations in the area who think of us regularly – congregations like Ardsley United Methodist, Dobbs Ferry Lutheran, St. Barnabas in Ardsley and Zion Episcopal.  Together with Woodlands, they make sure we have a steady supply of shelf-stable foods from their members, and we appreciate them all.
          A new volunteer has joined us who has experience with grants.  Since art therapist Stephanie Buck visits us every week and works artistically with our clients, she texted me that she’s learned of some grants that are available specifically for art therapy.  Stephanie has a lot of ideas about what she could do with grant money, so the volunteer will be calling her in the next few days so they can talk about these grants.
          South Church’s teen group is interested in helping us also.  Marc and I will be speaking to them on November 17 about this pantry and also about the importance of food pantries in general and the justice and dignity that they offer.
          Very sad news – for the first time since we opened, one of our clients has passed away.  It was a senior citizen to whom we’ve been delivering food for a couple of years.  Her nephew told me she died this morning at 10:30 a.m., which was just when I was trying to call her to see what food she needed this week.  Andrew and I, who made the deliveries, were very fond of her.


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October 9, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served 23 families, including 45 adults, 23 children and 8 seniors, for a total of 76 people.

          We saw a lot of you at the Ferry Festa this past Saturday, and others of you at the Irvington Farmers’ Market.  A great time was had by all, and people donated generously to the pantry at both events.  There are a lot of caring people in the Rivertowns.
          We had our 18-month inspection by Feeding Westchester, and I’m proud to say that we passed with flying colors.  We’re careful to follow Feeding Westchester’s requirements because they’re good ones and they make sure that our clients are well-served.
          We’re looking forward to a donation of food tomorrow morning from Woodlands Community Temple in honor of Yom Kippur.  We’re honored that the people at Woodlands think of us during the high holy days, and we’ll be delighted to receive and give out that food.
          And later in the month we’ll be receiving the first of three deliveries of food collected by the students and their families at Springhurst School.  Their Kids Can campaigns have helped us tremendously for several years now, and we hope they continue for a long time.  There’s a lot of work involved in organizing a drive like this, and thanks go out to Nola Kende Long and Sharon Van Engen for working on this, together with the other parents and students.
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October 2, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – I wasn’t at the pantry this morning, but the rest of the team soldiered on.  They served 34 families with 60 adults, 31 children and 16 seniors, for a total of 107 people.

          Hope to see everyone at the Ferry Festa this coming Saturday from 1:00 to 8:00.  South Presbyterian Church will have a table which will be shared by the church, the pantry, Roots & Wings and the CSA.  Roots & Wings will have a beanbag toss game, with an apple as a prize, and there will be a sign-up sheet for a Thanksgiving CSA share.  Come on down.
          This coming Sunday Benny and I will be representing the pantry again at the Irvington Farmers’ Market.  It’s always fun to go to, and donors are generous.  Hope to see some of you there.
          We’ve been bringing food on a weekly basis to a disabled senior citizen at Children’s Village for a long time.  We call her every week to tell her what we have to offer and she chooses what she wants.  When the pantry is finished we drive it over to her.  Today the team members tried to reach her and didn’t get an answer.  Everybody was worried.  Ultimately we were able to contact her nephew who told us that she was at the dentist.  We worry about our clients!
          Tomorrow we’ll have our eighteen-month inspection by Feeding Westchester.  Everybody keep your fingers crossed that we pass inspection.
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September 26, 2019

Good evening, everybody – yesterday in the morning we served 39 families with 71 adults, 40 children and 18 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 14 families with 24 adults, 24 children and 5 seniors.  This brought us to a total of 53 families served, including 95 adults, 64 children and 23 seniors.  We served 180 people yesterday.  During the month of September we averaged 39 families and 135 people a week.

          On Saturday the Hastings Farmers’ Market brought us 20 dozen eggs and a case of apples, all of which were quickly given out yesterday.  We’ll be receiving these donations every other week.  On the alternate weeks the eggs and fruit will go to the Hastings Food Pantry.
          And we also received a huge donation of diapers from Dr. Nitin Gupta of Rivertowns Pediatrics here in Dobbs Ferry.  He promises to make a donation of many cases of diapers every month.  The Rivertowns, and the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry, are very lucky that Dr. Gupta chose to establish his practice here.  He’s very active in the Rivertowns Rotary Club, and, thanks to him, the Club did a diaper drive for us several months ago at Stop & Shop and we ended up with tons of packages of diapers donated by generous shoppers.  And he’s also a wonderful doctor!
          Marc Taiano and I attended a very informative Feeding Westchester conference this past Wednesday.  They offered a workshop on immigration which provided us with handouts for our clients, and they offered another workshop on nutrition which gave us good ideas about how to interest our clients even more in healthy eating.  Our clients are already concerned about that, and we’re happy to help them any way we can.
          Benny, Sharon Brennen and I enjoyed representing the pantry on Tuesday at the Mercy College Community Service Fair.  A number of interesting and important charities were there so that the Mercy students could learn about them in case they either may one day need their services or would like to volunteer.  For example, the Dobbs Ferry Ambulance Corps was there.  And we came away with the names of a couple of students who may be able to help us when we receive huge deliveries either from Feeding Westchester or the Feeding Westchester Green Thumb program. We need people who are limber, strong and able to help on a weekday morning.
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September 18, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 31 families, including 62 adults, 36 children and 15 seniors, for a total of 113 people.

          This weekend we’ll be receiving another 20 dozen eggs from the Hastings Farmers’ Market.  This means so much to us because our clients love eggs.  As fast as we receive them we give them out.  And if an egg supplier has extra eggs, this is the perfect solution.
          We’re starting to receive unopened food not wanted by the students during lunch at Springhurst and the Dobbs Ferry Middle/High School also.  This worked beautifully last year, and we’ll be happy to receive the food again this year.  In the past this food was thrown out.  Now it will feed our clients.
          The Feeding Westchester 5K is this coming Sunday at Pace University in Pleasantville.  Three of us will be participating.  A couple of other volunteers wanted to but are injured.  Thanks to everybody on this list who has donated.  We’d be happy to receive more donations.  Just go to the Feeding Westchester website, find the Miles for Meals 5K section and click on “donate”.  If you designate the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry, maybe we’ll win another fundraising trophy like we did last year.
          We’ve received more canned food from the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center.  Thanks to Abby for reminding the people that our need for food never goes away.
          Our beloved CSA will end in October.  At this point we’re still receiving fruits and vegetables not only from the CSA but from the Roots & Wings garden.  Today Marc harvested beautiful cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and mint.  By noon everything had been taken.
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September 11, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served 27 families with 43 adults, 25 children and 15 seniors for a total of 83 people.

          South Church’s attic sale was a big success.  Once it was over there were some items that we offered for free, and people gladly helped themselves.  People worked very hard on this attic sale, and it paid off.
          South Church is all signed up for the Ferry Festa in Dobbs Ferry on Saturday, October 5.  The church will be represented as well as the food pantry, Roots & Wings and the CSA, all at one table.  Plus we’ll have a beanbag-tossing game.  It’s a really fun day in Dobbs Ferry.  Hope we see people on this list at the Festa.
          Those memories from eighteen years ago never fade, do they?


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September 4,2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served 44 families with 87 adults, 58 children and 16 seniors, for a total of 162 people.

          Five of us volunteers will be running (or walking) in the Feeding Westchester 5K on Sunday, September 22.  It would be great if we had more people on our team.  If anybody on this list is interested in participating, please let me know.  You can also make a donation to our team by going to the Feeding Westchester website and clicking on the 5K page, saying that you want to donate to the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry.  Last year we won a fundraising trophy, so maybe you can help us do it again.
          We received 20 dozen eggs from the Hastings Farmers’ Market on Saturday, together with a carton of apples.  They’ve told us we’ll be receiving this quantity of eggs every two weeks.  We were delighted to hand out those eggs this morning.
          Come one, come all to the South Presbyterian attic sale this Saturday, September 7, from 9:00 to 3:00.  We’re bursting with stuff to sell.  Also, if you come at 2:00 and pay $5.00, you get a bag and can fill it with whatever you can lay your hands on.  See you there!
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August 31, 2019

Good afternoon, everyone – last Wednesday Benny and I were out of town, but a valiant group of volunteers soldiered on, both in the morning and evening.  I say valiant because South Church is in the middle of getting ready for its attic sale, and there were many people there working on the attic sale while the pantry was going on. In spite of tripping over each other, everyone was kind and patient, including the clients. In the morning they served 28 families, including 45 adults, 35 children and 10 seniors for a total of 86 people.  In the evening they served another 7 families with 12 adults, 15 children and 3 more seniors, totaling 30 people.  This brought them to a total of 35 families, 57 adults, 50 children, 13 seniors and 116 people.  In the month of August we averaged 30 families and 106 people a week.

          In addition to food this last Wednesday, the volunteers gave out school supplies donated by the Dobbs Ferry Seniors.  Thank you, seniors!  The supplies were gratefully taken by our clients, and there are still some left for this coming Wednesday.
          A woman from the Hastings Farmers’ Market contacted me a week ago to tell me that there’s an egg supplier at the Market every week who is willing to donate 20 dozen eggs to a pantry.  They’ve been giving the eggs to the Hastings Food Pantry, but the pantry can’t take twenty dozen every week.  So they’re going to alternate weeks between us and Hastings.  This morning the first donation of eggs arrived at South Church, ready to be given out this Wednesday.  And we’ll be getting them every other week!  Our clients love eggs, so this is a wonderful donation.  Plus this morning they also brought a box of apples.  There is generosity in the world.  Plus surplus!
          Hope everybody has a great Labor Day, and hope Hurricane Dorian passes us by.
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August 21, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 37 families, including 72 adults, 43 children and 13 seniors, for a total of 131 people.

          The Ardsley Methodist Women gave us a gift of Stop & Shop gift cards.  We’re so grateful for these gift cards, and we’ll be happy to use them to help our hungry clients.
          This summer I’ve been visiting the churches who help us all through the year, including the summer.  We count on these churches to keep us supplied with food and, as with the case of the Ardsley Women, with financial help as well.
          We’ll be representing the pantry at the Mercy College Community Service Fair on Tuesday, September 24 from 11:00 to 2:00.  It’s aimed at the Mercy College students so that they know what services are out there and can sign up to volunteer if they want to, but I imagine that people on this list could show up just to learn a little about Mercy College and the Mav Market food pantry that is up and running.
          South Church will also be participating in the annual Ferry Festa on October 5.  The pantry will be at the table as well.
          Five of us will be participating in the Feeding Westchester Miles for Meals 5K on Sunday, September 22.  Would anybody on this list care to join us?  The more the merrier.  I’ll be walking, not running.  Just let me know and I’ll tell you how to register.
          South Church is packed with donations for the Attic Sale on September 7.  We’ve got everything under the sun there, and we’ll be accepting donations until August 31.  Come one, come all.  It will be a merry time on September 7, and everything you buy will go to help South Church with its community projects.
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August 14, 2019

Good afternoon, everyone – today we served 27 families with 45 adults, 32 children and 10 seniors for a total of 87 people.

          Mercy College is having a Community Service Fair on Tuesday, September 24 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., and the pantry has been invited to participate.  The e-mail they sent says this is for the purpose of encouraging their students to find different ways to give back.  We’re looking forward to participating because a couple of the students may be able to help us when we receive huge, heavy deliveries from Feeding Westchester, and also when we bring our monthly Green Thumb produce delivery from Feeding Westchester and have to carry everything from the car into the church kitchen.  Maybe we’ll find strong people there at the Fair, and possibly some of those students live in Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington or Greenburgh.  In that case, if they need food,  they can come and get food from us as well as from the Mercy College Mav Market food pantry.  I’m glad we have this partnership with Mercy College and with the Mav Market.
          Also, a mother I met while representing the pantry at the community table of the Irvington Farmers’ Market told me her son needs community service hours for the National Honor Society.  He came and helped me at the CSA on Sunday, and he’s coming again this Sunday.  Most of the time the days and hours we need volunteers just don’t match with the hours students are available, but we do appreciate help on Sunday mornings at the CSA.  Plus he got to see how a CSA works.
          Last winter we were helped by a college student who took a quarter off from school and ended up being with us every Wednesday for a couple of months.  We really appreciated his help, and to our surprise he came again this morning because he’s off from school for three weeks.  We were delighted to see him, and he was immediately put to work, both for the pantry and for the upcoming South Church attic sale, scheduled for Saturday, September 7.  We’re receiving lots of donations, and help is needed sorting and arranging things.  Irvington Presbyterian is having an attic sale on the same day, but there seem to be enough donations to supply both churches.  If anybody has some free time, please contact me and we’ll arrange for you to help us get ready for the sale.  Plus we’ll still be happy to accept donations until August 31.
          This coming Sunday, August 18, is the annual Road to Freedom walk sponsored by the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society.  It starts at Gould Park at 1:00 and follows the route the Continental Army followed in 1781 during the Revolutionary War.  It ends up at Mead House, 12 Elm Street, where there’s food, drink, games and other activities.  Come one, come all.  I’m sure I’ll see some of the people on this list there.
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