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, 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 (, 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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Food Pantry Notes, June 4

Good afternoon, everybody – Yesterday we served a total of 35 families, including 59 adults, 49 children and 11 seniors.  They were served by me, Carol, Eileen, Ellen and Mary Anne.

A wonderful time was had by all last night at the second night of our fundraiser at Sam’s Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry.  I’m not sure how much we’ve made, but I’ll be picking up a check from Maurice, the owner and executive chef of Sam’s, on Monday.  There were many people from South Presbyterian Church there, including some who ordered takeout, at least one family from Dobbs Ferry Lutheran, and a huge table from the Cabrini Nursing Home.  There were also people there who hadn’t known there was a fundraiser going on, and who were educated by me and Lyn about the existence of the pantry.
In addition to our receiving 15% of whatever people ate and drank, we had brochure holders on tables which included envelopes for extra cash contributions.  Several people, including some who had just learned about the pantry, gave us envelopes with cash in them, especially after Lyn described for everybody the increased need we’ll have this summer, when children won’t even have access to the free and reduced lunches at school to fill their stomachs.  Thanks for doing that, Lyn.
Our beloved Barbara M. was there with her mother and sister.  It was wonderful to see Barbara and to meet her family members.  And now Barbara has come up with a new idea for us:  Over the summer, when we’re having cookouts and barbecues, guests always offer to bring something.  Maybe we could encourage them to bring something for the pantry, which could then be dropped off at South Church for us to give out the next Wednesday

.  I’m attaching a copy of our list of most-popular items so that people will know what to bring.  Sounds like a great, and easy, idea, doesn’t it?

Also, does anybody on this list attend Pilates and More in Dobbs Ferry?  Barbara had heard that they have done fundraisers for charities in the past, and have also collected nonperishable food.  If anybody is a member there, maybe you could ask and see if the pantry could benefit from their concern and wish to help the hungry.
We applied for a grant to the Giving Circle of Lower Westchester several months ago, and this week they informed us that they’re giving us a grant in the form of a credit to the Food Bank for Westchester so that we can order food for our clients.  The Giving Circle of Lower Westchester is a wonderful organization, dedicated to wiping out hunger in Lower Westchester, and we’re honored to be one of their grantees.  We hope they continue their efforts for many years.
Lyn and I will be attending the Food Bank for Westchester’s quarterly member-agency community gathering this coming Tuesday.  It’s great to rub elbows with people from other pantries, and we may come back with information or ideas to help the pantry.  We’ll keep you posted.
Attachments area
Preview attachment A SHORT LIST OF MOST POPULAR.doc


Jen Cadenhead

5:18 PM (1 hour ago)

to DF, me
Congrats on the success at Sam’s and the GivingCircle’s latest gift! That’s wonderful.

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Another dinner at Sam’s Restaurant! June 3

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Pantry fund raiser at Sam’s restaurant in Dobbs Ferry

Happy diners and doners

Happy diners and doners

A wonderful time was had by all at the Pantry’s first fundraiser this past Wednesday at Sam’s Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry. We had a completely full house, and everyone, in addition to eating, was talking, laughing and meeting new people. There was a great, convivial atmosphere all evening. Plus, the food was delicious and the staff at Sam’s worked like a well-oiled machine.

We’re doing it again this coming Wednesday, June 3. You can either eat at Sam’s or order takeout, both after 5:00 p.m., and the Pantry gets to take 15%, after tax and tip, of whatever anybody spends. Sam’s is already accumulating reservations for that night, so call them at 914-693-2008 and add your name to the list. Or, if you were there last Wednesday, come again! See everybody at Sam’s.

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This week at the food pantry

Good afternoon, everyone – Last Wednesday morning we served a total of 29 families, including 55 adults, 46 children and 11 seniors. They were served by me, Benny, Carol, Eileen, Ellen and Mary Anne. Then in the evening we served another 12 families (it’s growing!), including 19 adults, 19 children and 3 seniors, who were served by Benny, Eileen, Lyn and Lyn’s daughter, Em (welcome, Em, and thanks for your help). That makes a total of 41 families served, including 74 adults, 65 children and 14 seniors. We averaged 38 families served per week in May.

Last Wednesday was our first opportunity to harvest vegetables and herbs from the Roots & Wings community garden in the back of the church. We were able to give out several heads of lettuce and several types of herbs. Plus clients were encouraged to harvest herbs for themselves in the labyrinth in front – thyme and mint were favorites. Then Lyn, together with one of our clients, gave the labyrinth a good watering.

Wednesday night was our first fundraiser. There was a beautiful turnout of people at Sam’s Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry, enjoying a meal while supporting the pantry. The pantry got 15% (after taxes and tips) of whatever people spent. We don’t know yet how much we made, but it was a very merry evening, and the staff at Sam’s worked really hard. They’re a well-oiled machine. REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN STILL SUPPORT THE PANTRY BY EATING AT SAM’S, OR ORDERING TAKEOUT FROM SAM’S, THIS COMING WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3 AFTER 5:00. WE’LL STILL GET 15% OF WHATEVER YOU SPEND. EVEN IF YOU WERE AT SAM’S THIS PAST WEDNESDAY, COME AGAIN! WHY NOT??

On Wednesday, May 20 we were visited by Pamela Henley of Volunteer New York, which is an organization which may be able to help us with volunteers who can help us with exhausting work like receiving deliveries from the Food Bank. I’m still struggling with logging us in on their website, but will continue to try. Meanwhile, I believe we have a willing group of volunteers for our delivery this coming Monday.

Another wonderful thing that happened last Wednesday was our receipt of a check from Aldersgate Methodist Church in Dobbs Ferry. Thanks so much to you for keeping us in mind. These donations are especially important now, as the school year comes to an end, because the children who qualify for a free or reduced-fee lunch won’t even have that meal to count on.

Haven’t yet heard back from Family Services of Westchester or Ardsley schools, but will keep working on that.

Enjoy the summer weather, everybody and see you Wednesday at Sam’s.

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