April 18, 2019

Good morning, everyone – yesterday we served 40 families, including 74 adults, 42 children and 19 seniors, for a total of 141 people

     We gave holiday gift cards to the clients so that they could use the cards for whatever they needed, and we gave out spring-y tote bags too.  In addition, during the pantry Roberta Bennett from the Dobbs Ferry Woman’s Club arrived with two hams as well as a check.  The hams were taken immediately.  We were also gifted with twelve bags of food plus some cash from Ardsley United Methodist.  We’re eternally grateful that the churches and organizations around here take care of us regularly, without our even having to ask.
     There was supposed to be a food drive sponsored by Feeding Westchester and NBC channels 4 and 47 this past Saturday.  We had hoped to be able to participate at the Dobbs Ferry Stop & Shop but it seems another pantry signed up before us.  I dropped over anyway to see how things were going and was surprised that nothing was going on.  It turned out that the whole thing was postponed due to the strike at Stop & Shop stores in Connecticut.  I let Feeding Westchester know that if that other pantry can’t participate on the rescheduled date, the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry will step right in.
     I received an unexpected phone call from Joy Haber, legislative assistant to MaryJane Shimsky.  She said there had been a hunger-related fund drive among legislators a couple of months ago, and that MaryJane has a check for us.  They had sent us a letter about it in March, but I don’t know what happened to that letter.  I was delighted to hear about it, and we arranged for MaryJane to bring the check to the pantry on Wednesday, May 1, to present us with the check with the clients looking on.  Joy will be with her also.  We’re excited for MaryJane to visit us while the pantry is going on.
     Happy Easter and Passover, everyone.
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April 10, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 35 families, including 64 adults, 40 children and 15 seniors.  We served 119 people today.

     On Sunday, May 19 there will be a concert at Temple Beth Shalom, 740 North Broadway in Hastings at 3:00 p.m. to benefit the Midnight Run.  There will be a number of outstanding musicians performing that afternoon, so mark it on your calendars so that you can help the Midnight Run.  For people who haven’t heard of the Midnight Run, it’s an organization of volunteers who take food and clothing to the homeless in New York City.  It’s made up of many churches, synagogues, schools and other organizations, who travel to the city in vans in the middle of the night to find homeless people as they sleep in parks, on steps, etc.  The benefit will provide funds to buy clothing for homeless people, including socks and underwear.  If you have clothing to donate (mostly men’s clothing) you can drop it off at the Midnight Run storefront at 97 Main St. in Dobbs Ferry.
     Next Wednesday we’ll be giving out gift cards to our clients, together with colorful tote bags.  They’ll be taking home less food because the roof over South Church’s Fellowship Hall is being repaired, which means for that week we can’t gain access to our cabinets.  Hopefully the clients will be happy with fresh produce from our monthly allotment from Feeding Westchester, what we can give them from the front pantry and other storage areas plus their gift cards.  And they’ll be able to do their art projects with our volunteer art therapist, Stephanie Buck.
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April 5, 2019

Benny and I weren’t at the pantry this past Wednesday, but other volunteers filled in beautifully, including Nora, our newest volunteer, and Mary Anne’s husband, Ed.  Thanks to both of you.  They served a total of 25 families, including 47 adults, 33 children and 9 seniors.  89 people were served on Wednesday.

     Just a reminder that the CSA open house is this coming Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at South Church, where Tom Deacon, the FABLE farmer, will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about CSA’s, and help you sign up if that’s what you decide to do.
     Last Wednesday during the pantry a woman arrived with a supply of children’s clothing for us to give out (we do accept children’s clothing but not adult clothing).  She reminded the volunteers that she had been a client of the pantry at one time, and now that she doesn’t need food from the pantry, she wanted to help.  So she donated clothing.  That’s exactly the way it should work.  We’re here when you need us; when your life improves and you don’t need our help anymore, you help us.  Our thanks to that former client.
     And we received another delivery of diapers from the woman who sends us diapers every month automatically from Amazon.  She added some size 1 diapers now that three of our clients are about to give birth.
     We also received a monetary donation from a child who, in response to Share Your Wish, asked guests at his birthday party to donate cash for the pantry instead of bringing him gifts.  The goal of Share Your Wish (www.shareyourwish.com)  is to enable children to learn about the value of giving to others who are in need.   We’ve received many donations from children through Share Your Wish, and we appreciate the Schleifer family in Irvington for coming up with this successful idea several years ago.  It’s really taken off.


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March 29, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – Last Wednesday in the morning we served 28 families with 55 adults, 31 children and 10 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 14 families, including 25 adults, 28 children and 3 seniors.  We served 148 people on Wednesday.  For the month of March we averaged 32 families and 117 people per week.

     The week before Easter we’ll be giving Stop & Shop gift cards to the clients.  This is what we’ve done at Thanksgiving and Christmas also.  This way people can buy whatever they need at Stop & Shop instead of our giving turkeys, hams, etc.  Some of our clients don’t celebrate Easter, but everybody needs food, so everybody can buy what they need.
     We bought a second share of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which gives produce out in the South Church parking lot every Sunday during the summer.  In case you’re interested, there will be an Open House on Saturday April 6 at 10:00 a.m. at South Church where Tom Deacon, the owner of FABLE Farm, will answer whatever questions anybody has about a CSA, and will help people sign up for the CSA if they’re interested.
     Last week our friend Dr. Nitin Gupta of Rivertowns Pediatrics posted a request on Facebook page 10522, asking that people donate diapers to the pantry.  People responded immediately, and we received many, many deliveries of diapers (including some from Nitin himself) from people who follow 10522 and who care about the pantry.  Eternal thanks to Nitin for looking out for our clients, and to all the people who went out, bought diapers, and dropped them off at South Church or at my house.  There have been many complaints about Facebook, but 10522 is a good page.
     Once a month we receive a large portion of produce from Feeding Westchester, picked up and brought to South Church by our faithful volunteers.  This past Wednesday was our March portion, and the produce was all given out except a large box of tiny eggplants.  They were adorable, and everybody took them, but still we had some left over.  The next day Benny and I delivered a supply of eggplants to the Irvington Senior Center, a supply to the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center, and there was still enough left for Eileen to take to the Hastings Food Pantry.  So, nothing goes to waste!
     Happy Spring, everybody.
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March 20, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served 26 families with 53 adults, 38 children and 9 seniors.  We served a total of 100 people today.

     The benefit dinner and show for the South Presbyterian teen benefit for their service project scholarships is on for this Saturday, March 23 at 6:00.  There won’t be any tickets at the door, but you can order tickets at Southpres.org.  See you there!  The pantry has a table of volunteers, so you’ll see several of us there.
     We’ve decided to order a second share of the CSA (community supported agriculture) for this summer, and Tom Deacon, the farmer at Fable Foods in Ossining, will donate two shares, which means we’ll be picking up four CSA shares this summer!  Including the produce from the Roots & Wings garden (let me know if you’d like to have a plot in the garden and I’ll put you in touch with Roots & Wings), our clients will have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables all summer and into the fall!
     Andrew Smith and I represented the pantry at the ribbon-cutting at the Mercy College food pantry (known as the MAV Market, named after the Mercy College Mavericks).  It’s beautiful and it’ll be open every other Wednesday and some evenings to serve the Mercy College students, staff and faculty – whoever needs food.  Thanks to Mary Sherman, the VISTA volunteer who ha helped them get this pantry going.  They’ve been working on it for a long time.  I’m attaching a picture of a couple of their shelves.  They’re off to a good start!

Molly Rodriguez, Director,
          Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry


MAV market.zip
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March 16, 2019

Good evening, everybody – Benny and I weren’t at the pantry this past Wednesday, but the other volunteers soldiered on like a well-oiled machine.  They served 29 families, including 52 adults, 39 children and 10 seniors.  They served a total of 104 people on Wednesday.

     The New York Bagel Authority gives us extra bagels every Wednesday morning, picked up by Ellen on her way to the pantry.  And for a long time we’ve been getting day-old bread and rolls from Stop & Shop, picked up by Eileen on her way to the pantry.  We often have bread and/or bagels left over, which we donate to the Days of Wonder Daycare Center, which is right at South Church.  Benny also takes a supply of bagels every Wednesday to the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center.  The Irvington Senior Center is another place that is often happy to take some extra bread, bagels or whatever else we have.  And we also send leftovers to the new Mercy College food pantry.  So, nothing goes to waste.
     Deacon Sharon Brennan arranged with the Preschool at Dobbs Ferry Lutheran to collect diapers for our clients.  She brought them to the pantry on Wednesday, and there were many diapers, all of which were given out on Wednesday.  Many thanks to the Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Preschool!  I know some of our clients’ children attend that preschool, so Dobbs Ferry Lutheran helps in that way also.
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March 6, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served 32 families, including 57 adults, 45 children and 14 seniors.  We served 117 people today.

     Deacon Sharon Brennan from Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church was with us again today, and we put her to work.  For one thing, Carol Seischab arrived with boxes and bags of food from Zion Episcopal Church and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran, and Sharon helped Carol and Eric sort through the food and put everything away.  It’s wonderful to have someone whose mission is to help the pantry in whatever way she can.
     The sanctuary at South Church is pretty much finished.  On and off during the pantry we all dropped in to the sanctuary and admired the painters’ work.  It’s beautiful!  We’ll be having services in the sanctuary instead of Fellowship Hall soon, and hopefully by next week our clients can sit in the sanctuary again to wait their turn.  The clients have been nothing but cooperative about waiting in the music room with artist volunteer Stephanie Buck, and in fact I imagine some of them were drawn into working on projects with Stephanie just because they were siting there.
     Over the last three Sundays I’ve attended services at Dobbs Ferry Lutheran, Ardsley Methodist and Zion Episcopal.  We love them all.
     There’s still a chance to order tickets for the South Church teen benefit at South Church’s website – southpres.org.  Those teens are fantastic performers and the food will be delicious.  And the money goes to help the teens travel to needy countries and help in whatever way they are able.
     Clocks go forward Saturday.  The warmth of Spring can’t be far behind.
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February 28, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday in the morning we served 35 families with 66 adults, 42 children and 11 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 8 families, including 18 adults, 14 children and 2 seniors.  This brought us to a total of 43 families, 84 adults, 56 children and 13 seniors for the day.  We served 153 people yesterday.  For the  month of February we averaged 34 families per week and 117 people a week.

        Rob Baron and his associates (including me) have continued obtaining signatures on petitions to get the Route 6 bus’s route changed to include stops along Cedar and Main in Dobbs Ferry.  At the Village Board meeting this past Tuesday Rob made a thorough and impressive presentation, and the Board voted to okay the change.  It won’t take place until the fall due to whatever procedures they have to go through, but all our efforts paid off.  I was involved because many of our pantry clients live in downtown Dobbs Ferry, and they have to try to duck across Broadway in order to try and catch the bus.  Now they can get the bus close to where they live.
        On Saturday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. the South Presbyterian teen group will have a musical benefit to support their scholarship fund for teens to travel to needy countries in order to help with projects going on in those countries.  Two teens have already gone to the Dominican Republic, and there are other countries they’d like to visit to see how they can help.  Tickets are $30 and you can order them at www.southpres.org.  Or let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.  Dinner will be served by our chefs, Peter, Alex and Eric.  I’ve seen these teens perform and they’re amazing!
        Deacon Sharon Brennan from Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church visited the pantry yesterday, just to see how we work, what goes on, and how best she can help us.  As a deacon, she’s going to make the pantry her mission.  Thank you so much, Sharon and DFLC.  One of the ways we’re thinking that she might help would be in locating senior citizens and disabled people who might need food but can’t get to the pantry.  We’d be glad to drop off food to those people as long as they need it.
        Another group of angels are the Ardsley United Methodist Women’s group.  They operate a thrift shop every Thursday from 10:00 to 2:00, and they’re planning on allocating some of the proceeds to help the pantry.  They work hard at that thrift shop.  I was there this morning, and it was a busy place, and we at the pantry are grateful that they’re keeping us in mind as people find things to buy.
        By the way, there’s also a thrift shop at Zion Episcopal in Dobbs Ferry on Thursdays and Saturdays in the afternoon.  So, there are lots of places where you can find fantastic buys or donate your unused stuff.
        January and February are over with!  Welcome, March!
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February 20, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 39 families, including 74 adults, 56 children and 11 seniors.  We served a total of 140 people today.

       Today was a test of everybody’s good spirits because the South Church sanctuary is being painted over the next month, which means our clients had to wait their turn in a much smaller room.  And, since this was a week off from school, quite a few children were included.  Everybody was patient and cooperative about it.  They waited in the room occupied by our volunteer art therapist, Stephanie Buck, and more people than usual got caught up in doing art projects.  So it actually turned out to be a good thing.
       I went to church at Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church this past Sunday in order to thank them for doing a Souper Bowl of Caring drive for us.  One of their deacons has made the pantry her particular mission, so she’ll be visiting us soon to see how best she can help.  DFLC is a church that is very involved in helping the community.
       In the next week or two I’ll also be attending Ardsley United Methodist Church, another church that, month after month, gathers bags and bags of food for us.  Ken and Brenda Stahn faithfully collect the bags, load them into their car and deliver the bags to South Church’s kitchen.
       I’ll also be visiting Zion Episcopal here in Dobbs Ferry for the same reason – regular, consistent, reliable provision of shelf-stable food for us without our even asking for it.  It just shows up, unbidden, delivered and shelved by Carol Seischab.  What more could we ask?
       This past Monday was the annual luncheon of the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center, of which Benny and I are proud members.  In addition to a delicious lunch at La Catena, people brought food for the pantry!  Even though many of these members live on a fixed income, they think of us and help us whenever they can.  Plus there’s a bin at the Senior Center which members stock whenever they think of it.
       If anybody on this list would like to donate some diapers, we would appreciate it.  As of today we have three pregnant clients who will be needing diapers and baby wipes very soon.
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February 15, 2019

Good morning, everybody – Last Wednesday, despite the bad weather, we served a total of 21 families with 33 adults, 21 children and 11 seniors.  We served 65 people on Wednesday.

     I will have more copies of Rob Baron’s petition to re-route the Route 6 bus, so that it goes down Cedar and Main, at the pantry this coming Wednesday so that more clients can sign it.  Many of them don’t have cars and rely often on buses.  I’ve seen mothers with a couple of kids trying to cross Broadway to get the No. 6 bus, so it’s a reasonable request to change the route.  There will also be copies of the petition at South Church on Sunday so members of the congregation can sign it as well.  If anybody on this list is interested in helping to get signatures, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Rob Baron.
     Last night our volunteers Benny, Mary Anne and Marc talked about the pantry and Roots & Wings to the members of the Greenburgh Town Board.  You can watch the entire meeting, including our volunteers, on Fios Channel 35 or whatever Optimum channel carries the Greenburgh meetings.  I wasn’t with them but I watched them on TV, and they did very well.  Supposedly they were nervous, but it didn’t come across.  So we have a presentation team!  If anybody wants them to come and talk about the pantry and Roots & Wings, just let me know.
     We’re halfway through February!
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