Bin at Stop & Shop full of food and other items! Thank you!

full bin at stop and shop

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August 8, 2018

Good evening, everybody – Today we served a total of 21 families, including 45 adults, 28 children and 9 seniors.

We now have a bin at both doors of Stop & Shop, and yesterday when I was there one of the bins was packed with food and other items, all valuable.  I took a picture of the bin and then emptied it out and put it all in my car to bring to the pantry today.  Two of our volunteers brought everything in from my car this morning and we gave just about everything out today.  Thanks to everyone who bought something extra and put it into the bin.  Please keep doing that.  Our supplies run low very quickly, and generous donations are what keep us going.
Many people have also responded to our Facebook campaign.  We’ve received many Pay Pal donations on our website (www.dobbsferrypantry.org).  This has kept us going financially, which is crucial to our functioning, especially in summer.  It’s heartwarming that people we’ve never known before have made the effort to donate so that people in the Rivertowns don’t go hungry in the summer.
We continue to receive every month a standing order of diapers and baby wipes from one woman who’s a mother and knows how much these cost.  Amazon automatically brings the diapers and wipes to my door.  I load them into my car and take them over to South Church, where they’re quickly given out.  We cherish the consistency and reliability of a standing order like this, and I’m sending out a hug to that mother for helping us over the long term.
We were visited today at the pantry by a woman by the name of Mary Sherman, who’s an Americorp/VISTA volunteer spending a year working at Mercy College.  Mercy’s Bronx campus has a functioning food pantry because many of their students are struggling to pay for college, pay rent and eat.  Mary says that even Mercy staff and faculty sometimes need help with feeding themselves and their families.  What she’s working on is creating a similar food pantry at the Dobbs Ferry campus because students and staff at the Westchester campus need just as much help.  They’re working on remodeling some office space with shelves and a couple of refrigerators and figuring out how to staff and run the pantry.  She wanted to see how we operate, and we were happy to show her around.  We’ll be staying in touch, and we’ll be finding ways to help and advise the people at Mercy as they take this important step.  They’re hoping to have a Grand Opening in October, so watch for further news!
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August 7, 2018

New bin for pantry at Stop & Shop in Dobbs Ferry – please add something to the bin when you’re shopping there.  The hungry people of the Rivertowns will appreciate it!

stop and shop bin

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August 1, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – Today we served a total of 27 families, including 56 adults, 35 children and 13 seniors.

Our resident techie, Barbara M. has put up a request for donations, both edible and monetary, on several different Facebook pages throughout the Rivertowns, and you should see the response!  People in Manhattan donated!  Don’t know how Barbara does it, but thank you.  We needed this!  And we still need donations, so please keep it up, folks.
As soon as I can get to it, you’ll be seeing a bin at Stop & Shop, asking people to buy something extra and leave it in the bin for us.  The sign will have suggested items that we give out all the time.  Many of us shop there, so hopefully the bin will fill up quickly.
I got a notice that Dobbs Ferry’s Ferry Festa is scheduled for Saturday, October 6.  We’re thinking of having a table for the first time, similar to the one we sometimes occupy at the Irvington Farmers’ Market.  Mark that date on your calendar because people have a wonderful time that day.  Let’s hope the weather cooperates!

 

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July 26, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – I wasn’t at the pantry in the morning, but the team soldiered on and did a great job.  In the morning we served a total of 29 families, including 49 adults, 44 children and 10 seniors.  Then, since it was the last Wednesday of the month, in the evening Benny, Andrew and I served another 18 families with 44 adults, 25 children and 6 seniors.  This brought us to a total of 47 families, 93 adults, 69 children and 16 seniors for the day.  We averaged 36 families a week in July.

We have some dedicated volunteers at this pantry.  On Monday morning we received a huge delivery of food we ordered from Feeding Westchester,  Ellen was there to receive it, as was Eileen, Andrew, and I don’t know who else.  Then on Tuesday Ellen and Eileen went to Feeding Westchester in Elmsford to pick up our monthly allotment of fresh produce, brought it back to church and put it all away.  I don’t know if anybody else helped them, but it was at least the two of them.  Then on Wednesday before the pantry opened we got another huge delivery of food that wasn’t available from Feeding Westchester but was necessary for our families.  This had been ordered by Ellen, and was received before 8:00 a.m. by Andrew, Enzina and Ellen.  That same day Eileen, as she does every week, picked up our weekly bread from Stop & Shop while Ellen, as she does every week, picked up our weekly bagels from the New York Bagel  Authority.  See how we operate?
Then there are the bins.  The one at Irvington Library is overseen by Tom.  The one at Dobbs Ferry Library is overseen by me.  The one at Greenburgh Town Hall is overseen by me and/or Mary Anne.  And we’ll have another bin soon at Stop & Shop and someone will oversee that one.
Then there’s Carol, who every week brings boxes of food donated by both Zion Episcopal Church and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran.  And then she organizes all our shelves.
Then there’s Mary Anne who searches all the local supermarkets for products that are on sale, buys a big quantity, and brings it to church and puts it away.
Then there are those of us who have just shown up every week, week after week, for years.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  I think there’s a certain type of person who chooses to help at a food pantry.  You have to have a heart of gold, time and energy to dedicate to all these details, and the ability to stay with it for years and years.
I think there’s also a certain type of person who wants to be on this e-mail list.  These are people who care about hunger and need and want to know that something’s being done about it.  People from this list drop food off to us, send us checks and make donations using the Pay Pal function on our website (www.dobbsferrypantry.org).  Keep it up, everybody.  We appreciate you.
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July 19, 2018

Good morning, everybody – yesterday we served a total of 29 families, including 59 adults, 33 children and 11 seniors.

A couple of people responded to my description of the Feeding Westchester 5K, which will take place at Pace University in Pleasantville on Sunday, September 23 from 9:00 a.m. until noon.  We have about seven people on the team (several of us will be WALKING, not running), so it should be fun.  Anybody else?  Just let me know and you’ll be part of the team.  We have to come up with a name for our team, by the way.  Anybody have an idea?
Ardsley Methodist has opened a new thrift shop, which will be open on Thursdays from 10:00 to 2:00, and all the proceeds will go to their various missions – and they have many.  This will be run by the Ardsley Methodist Women’s Association, which is a very active and dedicated group.
And don’t forget Zion’s thrift shop, open on Thursdays and Saturdays (except August and half of September).
And don’t forget that Irvington Presbyterian will be having its giant attic sale soon.
So, there are plenty of ways to donate what you don’t need, and buy what you do need at a low cost – and help the local churches with their charitable efforts (including this pantry) as well.
Stop & Shop has given us permission to put a permanent bin so that people can buy something for the pantry while they’re shopping and leave it there.  We’ll be getting a sign made up shortly, so soon you should be seeing that container – and hopefully the generous people on this list will be donating food.  As has happened in previous summers, our shelves are bare right now, so we could use either monetary donations (by sending us a check or using the Pay Pal function on our website at www.dobbsferrypantry.org) or leaving shelf-stable food for us in the church kitchen.  There’s an anonymous angel who has been dropping off bags of dried black beans every week.  thank you so much, whoever you are!
I was able to pick up some volunteer appreciation cards at Volunteer New York, which is an organization we’ve been affiliated with for a couple of years.  With that card the volunteers can go to certain restaurants on a Wednesday night and they’ll get 15% off their bill.  I wish we could do more for our volunteers.  They are a wonderful, energetic, dedicated lot.  💕
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July 11, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 32 families, including 64 adults, 47 children and 12 seniors.

I told the clients about the two-day sale at the Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington, which takes place today and tomorrow and always has fantastic bargains.
I also told them about the Zion Episcopal Church’s twice-weekly thrift shop.  Many of our clients have shopped there, and they were glad to hear that for the month of July everything is 50% off, and you can fill a bag for $4.00 instead of $5.00.  This is in preparation for the shop to be closed during August and part of September.
Feeding Westchester is sponsoring a 5K run on Sunday, September 23 from 9:00 to 12:00, and we at the pantry are thinking of forming a team to run that Sunday (or walk).  The money goes to Feeding America, which is where we order most of our food for the pantry (in addition to food donations brought by generous donors), so it’s a worthwhile event.  Would anybody on this list like to participate in that 5K with us?  We would love to have a whole group of people.  I’m attaching the e-mail I got from Feeding Westchester (apparently Feeding Westchester considers me to be the team captain), and if anybody can go that day, please send me an e-mail or call me at the number below.
Today we had some leafy greens and multiple vegetables from the CSA, together with a harvest of lettuce, kale, chard and many herbs from our beautiful Roots and Wings garden.  Thanks to FABLE and our trusted friends at Roots and Wings for making sure our clients have plenty of fresh food.
Some representatives from the Pace Women’s Justice Center in White Plains will be visiting us to talk to our clients about the free services and legal advice they offer.  This means that we don’t just provide food for our clients.  We offer advice about other services they can use as well.

 

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June 28, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday in the morning we served a total of 27 families, including 50 adults, 41 children and 11 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 12 families with 28 adults, 23 children and 2 more seniors.  That brought us to a total of 39 families, 78 adults, 64 children and 13 seniors.  We averaged 31 families a week in June.  We were able to deliver food to three families who can’t get to the pantry.

We were visited yesterday by Troop 1634 and their leaders, Tess McDade and Michelle Wurf.  They brought Girl Scout cookies, which are a tremendous treat for our clients.  The girls and their leaders have visited us several times over the years, and we’re glad they’re still active as Girl Scouts.
In the afternoon I visited the Church of St. Joseph of Arimathea in Greenburgh.  The parishioners, helped by Barbara Brown, gathered some diapers and baby wipes for us.  Barbara knows that we always need diapers and wipes.  And I got a chance to see the church for the first time.  It’s magnificent!  Among other things, they have a marble altar.  Thank you, Barbara and the other parishioners.
We submitted a grant request to Feeding Westchester for fiscal year 2019.  The grant comes in the form of a credit for food ordered from Feeding Westchester.  Keep your fingers crossed – we need that credit, particularly now that we’ve started giving more of certain foods to larger families.  We’d like to do more of that.  Larger families need more food than smaller families do, but it means we need to buy more supplies, much of which comes from Feeding Westchester.
We’ll be closed this coming Wednesday, July 4.  Hope everybody has a great Independence Day, and hope the weather cooperates.

 

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June 13, 2018

Good afternoon, everyone – today we served a total of 23 families, including 41 adults, 37 children and 8 seniors.
This past Sunday we had some beautiful lettuce from the CSA, along with strawberries, pea shoots, collard greens, some herbs and some rutabaga.  Plus we get donations twice a week from Springhurst and the Middle and High Schools in Dobbs Ferry from their lunch program.  The unopened foods they leave behind used to be thrown out but are now collected and brought over to the pantry, where we give them out on Wednesdays.  Today we gave out bananas, apples, cheese sticks, yogurt and crackers.
There’s a couple who live in Ardsley who regularly, consistently deliver eggs and carrots to us.  This happened again last Sunday, only this time it was eggs and potatoes.  We’re always grateful for regular, reliable donations like these.
This afternoon I got a phone call from Ken Stahn at Ardsley Methodist.  Someone who was a member of the church passed away this week, and all of the food she left behind was gathered by Ken and some other members of the church and donated to us.  And beforehand they went through everything to make sure there was nothing that was already opened and nothing that had expired.  We really appreciate this effort so that we don’t have to do it ourselves.  And we always appreciate our friends at Ardsley Methodist, Zion Episcopal and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran.  They are our go-to people.
Volunteer Barbara M. has offered to help us come up with some innovative ideas for fundraising.  She’s always full of enthusiastic ideas, so let’s see what she comes up with.  Thank you, Barbara.  If anybody on this list has an idea for a way for us to raise funds or to encourage more people to donate food, diapers and other items to us, please let us know!
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June 7, 2018

Good afternoon, everyone – yesterday we served a total of 29 families, including 55 adults, 41 children and 12 seniors.

Tom and Andrew picked up our first CSA shares from FABLE this past Sunday, and we’re off to a flying start.  We’ll have two shares plus whatever is left over at the end of the pick-up period on Sunday mornings.  FABLE had seven different items of produce for us this week, and we’ll see how the products vary over the summer.
On top of that, from the Roots & Wings garden, Marc gave us broccoli and several different herbs.  Early on Wednesday morning we visited the garden and brought in spinach, sage, basil and mint.  And the summer is only beginning!
When we arrived on Wednesday morning there were six bags of food donated by the parishioners of Ardsley Methodist Church, delivered, as always, by Ken Stahn.  They bring food to us every month, which is immediately given out.
Then, as the pantry was in progress, Carol Seischab arrived, as she does every week, with two boxes of food from Zion Episcopal.  Carol never comes empty-handed, and she brings donations from both Zion Episcopal and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran.  Thanks to Carol for your dedication, and thanks to the congregants of both churches for keeping us in mind every week.
It’s even more important over the summer when children don’t get lunch at school.
Last week we also got our monthly delivery of diapers, sizes 4, 5 and 6, from a generous woman in Greenburgh who has the diapers automatically delivered to my house from Amazon.  She’s a young mother herself, so she knows how important those diapers are to a struggling family.  If anybody else would like to donate diapers we’ll be happy to receive them and give them out, especially the larger sizes.

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