October 19, 2017

Good afternoon, everybody – Yesterday we served a total of 34 families, with 59 adults, 52 children and 8 seniors.

We had a wonderful time at our fundraiser at Sam’s Restaurant last night.  Thanks to everybody on this list who came to eat or who ordered take-out.  The Interfaith Caring Community had a full table of just their members, and St. Barnabas of Ardsley filled another table.  It was a chance to meet people’s spouses and other family members.  And the food was as delicious as ever.  It was a good thing the Yankees did so well, because many people were at the bar, eating, drinking and enjoying the game, and we’ll get 15% of whatever they consumed as well.

Four pantry clients have filled out applications for the diaper bank program sponsored by the Junior League.  I scanned those applications and sent them to Wendy Armstrong, who’s the Junior League manager of the program.  She’ll send the applications over to the Department of Social Services in Yonkers.  Once a month on the last Thursday of the month DSS gives out a box of 50 diapers and a package of wipes to the people registered on the list.  One November 16 I’ll be there at 2:30 to pick up the diapers and wipes for our clients, and I’ll make sure that the clients themselves can come and pick up their own diapers after that.  Fifty diapers will go pretty fast, but at least it’s something.

Today we received notification that we got a wonderful grant from the Anbinder Family Foundation.  The Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization helping charities all over the United States, and we’re honored to be included in their group of grantees.  We’ve received grants from them for the last two years, and we hope they keep us in their sights.

Our CSA only has two more weeks before it ends until next summer.  We’ll have to start purchasing produce and having it delivered through Stop & Shop’s Pea Pod the way we did last year.  Our clients are now accustomed to fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to the canned produce we’ve always given.  And many of them have learned to enjoy foods they didn’t know about before.

Hope everybody’s enjoying this wonderful Indian summer (why’s it called that, anyway?).

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October 11, 2017

Good evening, everybody – today we served a total of 23 families, including 40 adults, 29 children and 7 seniors.

Early this morning we received another delivery from Westchester Milk.  This time the delivery included chocolate milk in glass bottles like the old days, as well as several containers of orange juice.  I’ll have a letter to the editor in the Enterprise this Friday, praising them.  I didn’t know they existed.

I talked to Wendy Armstrong, head of the Junior League’s diaper bank program.  I now have four applications gathered from clients who desperately need diapers.  She told me to scan and e-mail those applications to her with my name and the name of the pantry listed as the responsible person.  Then there’s one Thursday every month when I’ll be expected to appear at the Department of Social Services in Yonkers and they’ll give me a one-week supply of diapers and wipes for each parent I’m picking up for.  She says there are many people (social workers) who represent clients and can pick up for more than one person.  I’ll give it a try and see how it works out.

Mercy College posted on Facebook about their food pantry.  From the post it looks like it’s only at their Bronx campus, but our connection at Mercy says there’s a pantry at the Dobbs Ferry campus also.  No one has contacted me from Mercy, but I wrote to the e-mail address listed in the Facebook post, offering the pantry’s help to the Dobbs Ferry students however we can.  Let’s see what happens.

We made up a bag of food for Benny to drop off to a woman’s caregiver at the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center.  When he got there the caregiver wasn’t there but had left word to leave the bag with staff at the Senior Center and she’d pick it up tomorrow.  Maybe we can help another disabled senior in Dobbs Ferry on an ongoing basis.

See everybody at Sam’s Restaurant (128 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry) next Wednesday, the 18th, any time after 5:00.  We’ll get 15% of whatever you eat, drink or take out.  I’ll also have a bin there in case anyone wants to bring some shelf-stable food for the pantry.  Looking forward to seeing all of you there!

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Join us at Sam’s Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry on October 18 – eat a delicious meal and help the pantry

fundraiser poster2

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Dan from Westchester Milk donating milk to the pantry. They’ll come every week with milk for us. Thank you Westchester Milk!

westchester milk photo

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October 4, 2017

Good evening, everyone – today we served a total of 30 families, including 48 adults, 38 children and 9 seniors.
Today we received our first delivery of donated milk from Westchester Milk (www.westchestermilk.com).  They’re a home delivery company, just like in the old days.  And Matt, the company owner, says they’ll be dropping off a couple of cases of milk every week to us.  What a great company!  I didn’t know they existed until Paul Feiner put us in touch.  Thanks Paul and thanks Westchester Milk.
I’m starting to put posters in store windows, advertising our fundraiser at Sam’s Restaurant (128 Main Street in Dobbs Ferry) on Wednesday, October 18.  Look on our website (www.dobbsferrypantry.org) and you’ll see the poster.  Hope to see everybody on this list there that day, or at the take-out counter.
We were contacted by the home health aid for a disabled elderly woman in Dobbs Ferry.  She learned about the pantry through my husband, who eats lunch at the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center and talks about the pantry all the time.  Benny will take some food to the Senior Center every Wednesday and the aid can pick it up and take it to this hungry woman.
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September 28, 2017

Good afternoon, everybody – Yesterday in the morning we served a total of 21 families with 31 adults, 26 children and 6 seniors.  Then in the evening Benny and I served another 14 families including 27 adults, 20 children and 3 seniors, bringing us to a total of 35 families yesterday, with 58 adults, 46 children and 9 seniors.  We averaged 26 families a week in September.

I got an e-mail from a woman who attends South Church and works at Mercy College.  She told me that Mercy opened a food pantry at the college for students in need.  She said they would like to partner with us somehow.  Maybe we can at least give them some extra food.  I e-mailed her back and asked her to have them get in touch.  Let’s see what we work out.

I confirmed with Maurice, the chef and owner of Sam’s Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry, that we’ll have a fundraiser at the restaurant on Wednesday, October 18.  Mark that date on your calendars and plan on eating at Sam’s that day or ordering take-out.  We’ll get 15% of everything you eat or drink.  Graphic artist Nancy Delmerico is designing a poster we’ll be putting in store windows so everyone will know about it.

Three pantry clients have filled out forms to apply to the Junior League’s Diaper Bank.  I called Wendy Armstrong, the director of the program.  She’s on vacation but we’ll meet when she gets back and figure out how to help these mothers get some diapers.  If anybody on this list can donate some diapers and/or wipes (all sizes) it would be wonderful.

A Springhurst mother by the name of Nola Long contacted me and said that she and Sharon Van Enngen, plus many other volunteers, are continuing with the Kids Can program at Springhurst.  This is a program whereby families send shelf-stable food, toiletries and cleaning products to Springhurst for the pantry.  Several mothers at Springhurst collect everything and deliver it to us three times a year.  She said the first delivery will be in October.  The Kids Can program, which has been sponsored by Spring Community Partners, has been so valuable to us at the pantry in the past.  The families have donated generously and we’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude to Spring Community Partners and Springhurst for doing all this hard work for us.  And it is hard work to do all this organizing and delivering!

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Me helping out at the Irvington Presbyterian attic sale. That church has helped the pantry tremendously, so I’m glad to give back a little

irvington presby attic sale

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September 20, 2017

Good afternoon, everybody – Today we served a total of 32 families, including 52 adults, 46 children and 6 seniors.

I downloaded the diaper applications in English and Spanish from the Junior League website and printed out some to give out to the clients today.  I offered to help people fill them out, but I wasn’t willing to do it while we were doing the pantry.  Several mothers said they would try to fill them out at home, and then make an appointment with me if they needed help answering some questions.  I’ll be glad to stay after the pantry closes next week if people need help.  One client had already filled out the application and submitted it to the Department of Social Services in White Plains.  She said she was due to start picking diapers up soon.

Giuliana Urrelo from the Westchester Hispanic Coalition was with us today, and she had several flyers to hand out to the clients, both about domestic violence and about issues around immigration.  She gave me some flyers to distribute at church also.  Plus, she was interested in the Diaper Bank applications, and took some with her to give to clients at WHC.

Several of our volunteers were on vacation today, and Maria Harris came to help out.  We continue to receive donations to the pantry in memory of her husband, Bernard, and I was able to give her a hug in appreciation.  She was amazed at the difference between our pantry, which serves around 30 families, and the pantry in Yonkers she usually works at, where they serve from 150-250 families in a period of two hours.  Their busiest time is before the pantry opens, when they’re filling bags with food so that clients can arrive, take their bags and leave quickly.  Very different from our client-choice pantry where clients have the luxury of chatting with us and mulling over what they’d like to take.

Benny, Carol and I attended the Food Bank’s annual conference at the DoubleTree in Tarrytown.  Wendy Armstrong from the Junior League was there and I posed for a picture with her.  The workshops were pretty interesting.  Carol attended one on “hunger mapping”, which is the Food Bank’s method of figuring out where people are still underserved by food pantries and soup kitchens and finding ways to deal with that.  Benny went to a social media workshop and I attended one on grant writing.  I came away with some new ideas of places who might give us a grant.

On Friday I helped out at the Irvington Presbyterian attic sale.  It was amazing how much of everything they had to sell, and in the end they made thousands of dollars, all for charity.  My neighbor, who organizes and runs this event, promises that they’ll send a check to us at the pantry, probably around Christmas.  We can use it!

Tricia and I harvested some beautiful tomatoes, collard greens, tomatillos and herbs from the Roots and Wings garden this morning, to add to the bounty we received from the CSA.  This bounty will hopefully continue for a few more weeks.

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At Food Bank conference with Wendy Armstrong, Diaper Bank Director of the Junior League of Central Westchester and Manager of the Hunger Relief Corp of Volunteer New York

food bank conference with wendy armstrong

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September 13, 2017

Good afternoon, everyone – Today we served a total of 25 families, with 43 adults, 29 children and 6 seniors.
This past Monday I was at a diaper-packing event at the Westchester County Center, sponsored by Volunteer New York and the Junior League’s Diaper Bank.  I met a wonderful woman by the name of Wendy Armstrong, who’s the Junior League’s Diaper Bank Director.  I was hoping we could get our hands on some diapers for our food pantry mothers.  In the past the mothers have had to register at the Department of Social Services in Yonkers or White Plains, which scared many of them off.  At this point she told me to download the applications from the Junior League’s website, help the mothers fill them out, and then contact her so we can arrange some way for one of us volunteers to pick up some diapers directly from the Junior League’s office.  Maybe we can finally be helpful to the mothers in this way.
If anybody’s around this coming Sunday, September 17, there’s a potluck at the Roots & Wings garden at 4:30.  Benny and I will be there, and it would be great to see some of the people on this list at the gathering.  It’s a great chance to admire the garden and all the work they’ve done, plus meet the gardeners.  If you’d like to come just RSVP to Gabriela Munoz at gabrielamun@gmail.com.
We’re continuing our contact with the elderly couple at Children’s Village, and we’re also providing food for a mother who just started working but is desperate for food for herself and her son.  Ellen left shelf-stable food (plus some fish packed in ice) on her porch and the mother came and picked it up after the pantry had closed.  We’ll keep it up as long as she needs this.
We received a donation of beautiful men’s clothes from one of the proprietors of Rochambeau Wines.  We’ve mostly concentrated on children’s clothing, but when we’ve received adult clothing it seems to be eagerly accepted, so we’ll give that out also.  Some of our Latino clients send clothing to impoverished relatives in their home countries in Latin America, so the pantry has quite a reach.
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