November 6, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 36 families with 71 adults, 52 children and 16 seniors.  This brought us to a total of 139 people.

          The South Church teen group will be making pies for our clients, which we’ll give out the day before Thanksgiving.  Not only that, but their leader, Lenore, wants each member of the group to pull out of a jar a “persona”, which will describe in a few words the circumstances a person might find themselves in which would lead them to seek help from a food pantry.  The teen would then mentally put themselves into that persona’s shoes for a little while, just to see how it feels to be food-insecure.  This is part of South Church’s Faith and Justice goal of helping the children in the church to see places where justice is needed in the world.
          During the month of November Stop & Shop is selling $2.50 tote bags with the words “give back” on them.  If you buy a bag (or two), take it home and go to the Stop & Shop website to enter the unique identifier which appears on the bag you bought, you’ll get a list of local charities, including the food pantry.  You can then choose a charity and that charity will get $1.00 of the $2.50 you spent.  Hopefully people on this list, who are the people who care about us, will do this for us this month.  Thank you in advance!
          One of our clients has a grandchild who suffers from failure to thrive.  She’s tiny for her age and isn’t growing properly.  We’ve been providing our client with Pediasure for the girl, and the client says she’s grown and has gained weight as a result of drinking the Pediasure.  Another of our volunteers, on his own, provides a client with Boost because, due to illness, this is one of the few ways she can nourish herself.  We’re happy that our clients can be helped this way.  There’s more than one way to nourish a food-insecure client.
          This past weekend we received another twenty dozen eggs from the Hastings Farmers’ Market.  We don’t know exactly whom to thank, but the people who run the farmers’ market are a wonderful and caring group of people.
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October 31, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday in the morning we served 33 families with 62 adults, 46 children and 13 seniors for a total of 113 people.  Then in the evening we served another 18 families including 37 adults, 28 children and 6 seniors for a total of 73 people.  So, altogether we served 51 families with 99 adults, 74 children and 19 seniors, which comes to a total of 186 people.  In the month of October we served an average of 35 families a week and 122 people a week.

          Through Share Your Wish, another child has collected money for the pantry instead of gifts for her sixth birthday.  In choosing the pantry, the little girl said “food is something people can’t live without.”.   And her father’s company will match the gift!  What a thoughtful, generous thing for a six-year-old, and her family, to do!  It makes me feel good about the next generation.
          This past Tuesday we received a huge donation of food collected by the Kids Can campaign at Springhurst School.  The Kids Can campaign has been running for several years at Springhurst, and this year Nola Kende Long and Sharon McCann-Doyle organized the entire endeavor.  And it’s a huge endeavor, which takes place three times a year.  My hat is off to Nola and Sharon, and to all the people who helped them and will help them throughout the year.  That food is so important to us, and a large part of it was given out this past Wednesday!
          We also received a lot of food from the Irvington Library and from St. Barnabas in Ardsley.  Thanks so much to everybody who keeps us in mind and to everybody who collects it and brings it to us.
          We’re gearing up for the holidays.  We like to give a Stop & Shop gift card to our clients for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That way they can buy whatever they want, whether it’s turkey or something else.  We’ll also have pies for them and something else for Christmas.
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October 23, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served a total of 36 families with 73 adults, 51 children and 15 seniors, totaling 139 people.

          This coming Tuesday will be a bonus day for us.  We’re getting the first of three food donations from the Kids Can program at Springhurst.  They’ve been helping us ever since we opened, and the parents who lead the program change but the donations continue on, and we rely on them.  We’re looking forward to this first delivery.
          And at the same time we’ll be getting our monthly supply of fresh produce from Feeding Westchester.  So, we’ll be very busy on Tuesday at South Church.
          Speaking of South Church, I’ll be meeting this Sunday with the children from our Faith and Justice Learning Lab to show them the pantry and talk with them about the impact of hunger and food insecurity on families in our community.  The children will range in age from kindergarten to fifth grade, and they’ll bring food to help stock our pantry.  They’ll be learning what it means to be unsure of where your next meal will come from, and how that impacts on your ability to get along in the world.
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October 18, 2019

If you buy one of these bags for $2.50 at Stop & Shop in Dobbs Ferry during November, the food pantry will get $1.00.  Buy two or three!buy one of these bags at the Dobbs Ferry Stop & Shop during November for $2.50 and the pantry gets $1.00

 

 

A wonderful group of volunteers from Woodlands Community Temple with a huge post-Yom Kippur donation for the food pantry.  Thanks Woodlands!a wonderful group of volunteers from Woodlands Community Temple with a huge post-Yom Kippur donation for the food pantry. Thanks Woodlands!

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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

representing South Church, the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry, Roots & Wings, the CSA and others at the Ferry Festa on October 5, 2019

At Ferry Festa on October 5, representing South Church, Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry, Roots & Wings and Community Nursery School

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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