October 11, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday we served a total of 33 families, including 55 adults, 43 children and 11 seniors.  This adds up to 109 people served.

This past Saturday was the Ferry Festa in Dobbs Ferry.  The streets were closed and it was party,party, party until 8:00 at night.  South Church had a table at which the Pantry, Roots & Wings and our CSA, FABLE, were represented.  We had a beanbag game, which was very popular, and we gave out flyers about South Church’s various activities.  We also gave out brochures about the Pantry, and people gave donations throughout the day.  And the food was plentiful and delicious.
I was contacted by Dr. Nitin Gupta of Rivertowns Pediatrics, who’s opening an office in Dobbs Ferry.  He’s also active in the Rivertowns Rotary Club, and the Rotarians are working with the children at St. Christopher’s in Dobbs Ferry.  They want to involve the kids in the community and educate people about what St. Christopher’s does and who the kids are.  One of the projects they’ll be undertaking is for the kids to go trick-or-treating on Tuesday, October 30 to ask for shelf-stable foods for the Pantry.  They’ll be escorted by Rotarians, and Rotary will put out advance notice of the project so that nobody will be surprised when kids come knocking on their doors the day before Halloween.  We at the Pantry are grateful that Rotary has us in mind, and we’re also happy that the kids at St. Christopher’s are learning about us as well.
Yesterday we were visited by Janice Brown of NY Connects, which is a NYS-sponsored program which offers, at no charge, all kinds of services and supports for anybody who needs them.  Their goal is to “help people remain healthy and independent”.  They offer education, counseling and support services.  Janice felt that maybe some of our clients could use the services offered by NY Connects, and she just kind of hung around, chatted with people and gave out flyers and information.  She stayed for two hours, and had conversations with quite a few of our clients.  One client accepted a list of websites for people looking for work.  So, she was already able to help some of our clients.  She plans to visit once a month or so to see what services people may need.  She learned about us at a conference we attended sponsored by Feeding Westchester, whose thrust was helping our clients beyond giving food.  I think Janice and NY Connects fit that bill perfectly.
My long-term co-director, Lyn McLean, will be moving away at the end of the month.  This coming Wednesday will be her last turn at the pantry.  We’ve loved you, Lyn, and you’ve helped us in many ways through the years.  I know you’ll find ways to help people no matter where you go. 💕
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October 4, 2018

Good morning, everyone – yesterday we served a total of 28 families, including 48 adults, 32 children and 15 seniors for a total of 95 people.

This coming Saturday is the annual Ferry Festa in Dobbs Ferry, where from 1:00 to 8:00 the streets are closed and people can wander around, eat, listen to music, dance and visit all the tables representing stores and organizations in the area.  The pantry will be represented at the South Presbyterian Church table, along with Roots & Wings, Sacred Spirit Yoga and our CSA, FABLE. It’s a very merry affair, so we hope to see the people on this list at some point during the day.
We’ve been having great success with the bins we have placed at Stop & Shop, the Irvington Library, Greenburgh Town Hall, and the Dobbs Ferry Library.  Thanks to everybody who has been so generous.  Please check expiration dates, however.  We sometimes receive foods that expired years ago, and we’re disappointed to have to throw it out, but we’re required not to offer expired foods to our clients.  Our motto is “serving the hungry with dignity and respect”, and so far we’ve done a good job of it thanks to all of our donations, both edible and monetary (remember the PayPal function on our website, www.dobbsferrypantry.org).
We’ve been well-served all summer by FABLE, our CSA.  This is the last month, and our clients will miss all the fruits and vegetables FABLE has provided every week.  It’s been educational, both for us and our clients.  Yesterday, among many other foods, we served a new type of squash and a new type of radish, as well as broccoli rabe!    Our clients are becoming sophisticated.  We’ll order fresh fruits and vegetables on our own, of course, and once a month we receive a big supply of produce from Feeding Westchester, but we’ll still be looking forward to starting the CSA again next spring.
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Pantry team at Feeding Westchester 5K with fundraising award on September 23, 2018

5K team september 092318

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September 28, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – this past Wednesday we served a total of 31 families in the morning, including 50 adults, 43 children and 10 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 14 families with 29 adults, 23 children and 2 seniors.  In total we served 45 families, including 79 adults, 66 children and 12 seniors.  We served a total of 423 people this month, and we averaged 30 families and 85 people a week.

I was in touch with Mary Sherman, the VISTA volunteer at Mercy College, who says they’re continuing to work out the logistics of the opening of the food pantry at the campus in Dobbs Ferry.  They’ve already been operating one at the Bronx campus for quite some time, and it’s not only for students but for staff and teachers as well, who also suffer from food insecurity.  Apparently, it’s very well received and appreciated.  Mary says they’ve set a tentative grand opening date in Dobbs Ferry for Wednesday, November 14, subject to change.  Their goal is to have the pantry operated by the students, with staff oversight.  We wish them well, and we’ve offered to help in any way they need.
The Pantry 5K team of seven volunteers successfully completed the Feeding Westchester 5K at Pace University in Pleasantville this past Saturday, and we won an award for fundraising!  This speaks directly to some of the people on this list, as well as other friends and family members of the volunteers.  Thanks to everybody who donated, and we’ll be sure to register for the 5K again next year.  Maybe we’ll have more volunteers for the team!
Speaking of generous donors, a thirteen-year-old girl whose family belongs to Zion Episcopal Church had a birthday party, and she asked the guests to bring along something for the Pantry.  Carol Seischab brought us four packed boxes of food plus three extra bags, all filled with food donations for the Pantry.  Our special thanks to Willa and her family, and to Zion Episcopal, where Mother Mary Grambsch encourages parishioners to think of the Pantry at all times.  Not to mention Carol, who carries food to us from Zion and from Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church nearly every week, and then sorts it and puts it all away.💕

You may have seen on the news or on Facebook or twitter that South Church served as a sanctuary for an Ecuadorian family from Ossining from Monday until Wednesday.  They lived for those two days in the upstairs of the church and cooked and ate in our kitchen.  ICE is not permitted to enter a church without a judicial warrant, and nobody came from ICE, so they were safe for those two days.  Their lawyer had submitted the wrong documents and, in spite of living in the U.S. for 24 years, they were in danger of deportation until their new lawyer arranged with a judge to sign a “do not deport” order.  Now they can continue with their lives in Ossining while their residency petition is processed in the courts.  Our Minister, Drew Paton, has vowed that we will provide sanctuary if ever necessary, and he made good on his word.
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September 19, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 20 families, including 36 adults, 28 children and 5 seniors.

The annual Feeding Westchester all-day conference will take place tomorrow at the Doubletree in Tarrytown.  Three of us from the pantry will be there, and we’ll report back what we’ve learned.
We heard from Nola Long and Sharon Van Engen at Springhurst, letting us know that they’ll be doing three food drives for us this year, beginning in late October.  Springhurst has been behind us since the beginning, and Spring Community Partners were the first ones to come up with the idea of a food pantry in the Rivertowns.  Don’t know where we’d be without them.
The Feeding Westchester 5K is this coming Sunday.  Seven of us from the pantry will be participating – some running, some walking.  All the money donated by sponsors goes to our account at Feeding Westchester, which is where we buy food for our clients.  There’s still time for you to contribute.  Here’s the website:  https://fundraise.feedingwestchester.org/event/feeding-westchester-miles-for-meals-5k-walk-and-run.  Thanks to all of you who have already donated.  I’ve never run (walked) in a 5K before.  This will be interesting.
A wonderful friend of Benny’s from the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center placed an order for us at Stop & Shop’s Pea Pod delivery service.  It arrived this morning around 11:00, and it was huge.  The generosity of the people in this community never fails to amaze me.  We were able to give out quite a few items just between 11:00 and the time the pantry closed.
Another sign of generosity is the bin at Stop & Shop.  Just this afternoon I picked up several boxes of cereal, pasta and beans.  Thank you!
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September 12, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 30 families, including 56 adults, 34 children and 12 seniors.

Jen Cadenhead has joined our team for the Feeding Westchester 5K on Sunday, September 23.  That makes eight of us.  Quite a few people have donated to the Miles for Meals website, even some anonymously.  Thanks to everyone who donated, and remember that whatever amount is donated is applied to our account at Feeding Westchester so that we can continue to order food to feed our clients.  Here’s the website again:  https://fundraise.feedingwestchester.org/event/feeding-westchester-miles-for-meals-5k-walk-and-run.  It’s not until September 23, so there’s still time to donate.
As I mentioned last week, the Whiskey Thing, sponsored by Rochambeau Wines and Liquors, is tomorrow night from 7:00 to 9:00 at St. George Bistro in Hastings.  It’s $45 and it’s a fundraiser for the Pantry and also for the Irvington Library.  If you go, bring some shelf-stable food for the pantry.  They’ll collect it at the door.
Last Sunday Ellen and I attended the pancake breakfast to raise funds for the Dobbs Ferry High School football team.  A merry time was had by all, and the food was good.  We were greeted by Susan Hemsley, mother of team member Tommy Palicz.  Every year the team does a food drive for us at Stop & Shop at the end of the season, and we’re hoping they’ll do it again this year.  The shoppers can’t resist those team members when they ask them to donate something to us.
Remember the huge Irvington Presbyterian attic sale this coming Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15.  Wait until you see how much stuff they have.   I’ll be working there on Friday, so maybe I’ll see some of the people on this list.  Irvington Presbyterian has been very helpful to the pantry for years, and we love them very much.
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September 5, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 25 families, including 49 adults, 34 children and 12 seniors.

I’m attaching below a flyer from Rochambeau Wines and Liquors in Dobbs Ferry.  They’re doing a fundraiser for the Irvington Library and the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry on Thursday, September 13 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the St. George Bistro in Hastings.  It’s called the Whiskey Thing, so for $45 you get to taste various whiskeys, eat oysters and other small bites and learn about different kinds of whiskey.  If you’re interested, there’s an e-mail address where you can sign up.  And don’t forget to bring shelf-stable food for the Pantry.
We now have eight people on our team for the Feeding Westchester 5K on Sunday, September 23 at Pace University in Pleasantville.  Please help us by donating to the event.  Whatever you donate goes to our account at Feeding Westchester so that we can keep on ordering food to feed our hungry clients.  Here’s a website you can go to in order to donate:  https://fundraise.feedingwestchester.org/event/feeding-westchester-miles-for-meals-5k-walk-and-run.  When you click on “donate” it will ask you if you want your donation assigned to a specific group.  Type in “Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry” and our name will come up.  Then whatever you donate goes to our account at Feeding Westchester.  Or just hand us cash when you see us (me, Andrew Smith, Ellen Klein, Tricia Roumbanis, Maria Harris, Katherine Anderson, Lyn McLean).  We’ll see that it gets to Feeding Westchester.
Plan to attend the annual Ferry Festa in Dobbs Ferry on October 6.  It’s a very merry event, and it takes up all of Cedar and Main Streets.  The Pantry and Roots & Wings will have a table, so you can visit us.
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August 22, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 18 families, including 28 adults, 24 children and 6 seniors.

Our team (six of us) is registered for Feeding Westchester’s 5K, which will take place on Sunday, September 23 from 9:00 to noon at Pace University in Pleasantville.  Now we need people to donate.  Everything you donate will be assigned to our account at Feeding Westchester so that we can order food for our hungry clients.  If you’d like to donate, go to the website at https://fundraise.feedingwestchester.org/Miles4Meals.  Click on “donate”.  They’ll ask you, “would you like to credit this donation to a specific fundraiser or team?”   There’s a space where you can type in “Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry”.  Then whatever you donate will be credited to us.  Or just give cash to any of us on the team.  We’ll see that it gets to Feeding Westchester.
By the way, would anyone like to join us on the team?  The more the merrier!
We’re going to be teaming up with Roots & Wings to have a table at the Ferry Festa in Dobbs Ferry on Saturday, October 6.  We’ll have a game and lots of information about both organizations, both based at South Church.  Hope everybody on this list gets to the Ferry Festa that day.
Thanks to all of you for putting food into the bins at Stop & Shop.  You all have been very generous.  Whenever I go to Stop & Shop I always find food and other supplies in both bins, which I gather up and load into my car so that we can give it all out the next Wednesday.  Other volunteers have done the same thing when they shop at Stop & Shop.  Regular, consistent generosity like this is what keeps us going.


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August 15, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 29 families, including 62 adults, 32 children and 9 seniors.

We’ve got two bins for the pantry at Stop & Shop – one at each entry.  People have been caring and generous.  Whenever one of us volunteers goes into Stop & Shop we routinely find food and other products waiting for us in the bins.  This has been a huge help to us, and most of the items are given out that same week.  I’m sure some of those donors are on this list, so a big thanks to all of you.
Our team (Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry/10354) is duly registered for the Feeding Westchester 5K scheduled for Saturday, September 23 from 9:00 to 12:00 at Pace University in Pleasantville.  There are six of us on the team so far.  Would anybody else like to join us?  Or would you like to donate?  All donations will be assigned to our food account at Feeding Westchester so that we can order more food for hungry people in the Rivertowns.  Let me know if you’d like to participate in one way or another.  By the way, I’m one of the team members, and I’m planning on WALKING, not running, in the 5K, even if it takes me all day.
I’d just like to throw out a thank-you to Westchester Milk, who keeps us supplied every Wednesday with milk and eggs.  They come so early that we never see them, but the milk and eggs are waiting for us when we arrive.  Matt Marone is the CEO, and we thank him heartily for his company’s reliability.
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Bin at Stop & Shop full of food and other items! Thank you!

full bin at stop and shop

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