December 5, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday we served 33 families with 62 adults, 35 children and 20 seniors for a total of 117 people.  In the month of November we averaged 40 families and 153 people a week.

          We received a huge donation of food from Cabrini of Westchester, and two very kind Cabrini employees plus our strongest volunteers carried it all upstairs to a room since there was no space downstairs.
          Several bags and boxes of food from Cabrini are waiting for a troop of Irvington Cub Scouts to come on a Saturday or Sunday in the near future to organize all the food, check for expiration dates and put it all on shelves upstairs for us to bring down in bits and pieces as we need it.  The leaders want us to educate the boys about hunger in general and the importance of pantries and soup kitchens, which we will be glad to do.
          Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, our volunteers gave out 45 pies, both pumpkin and apple, made by the South Church teen group.  And one of the teens even came to help out at the pantry that day.  South Church has a great teen group and a very active Faith and Justice Lab for all the children, from early childhood to teen.  The younger children have been collecting food for us every Sunday for the last few weeks, and after church this Sunday the children will gather the food and stock the shelves of the pantry.  This is how the children at South Church are coming to understand that there really is hunger and need in the Rivertowns.

 

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December 1, 2019

Good evening, everybody – I wasn’t at the pantry last Wednesday, but our other volunteers soldiered on both morning and evening, despite whatever holiday preparations they were involved in.  Thanks so much to all of our volunteers, many of whom have kept this pantry going for the last six years.  This past Wednesday in the morning they served 40 families consisting of 75 adults, 59 children and 11 seniors, for a total of 151 people.  Then in the evening three stalwart volunteers served another 8 families with 16 adults, 14 children and 5 seniors, adding up to 35 people.  This brought us to a total of 48 families, 91 adults, 73 children and 16 seniors.  They served 186 people last Wednesday.

          The volunteers gave out the last of our Stop & Shop gift cards, which we give in lieu of a turkey, since not everybody wants turkey.  We did end up with three donated turkeys, which we gave as prizes on Wednesday.
          I hope everybody stayed safe and warm on Thanksgiving, and I hope everybody is safe and warm as I write this, when the weather’s terrible outside.
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November 20, 2019

Good evening, everybody – Today we served a total of 47 families, including 91 adults, 72 children and 17 seniors, for a total of 180 people.

          We’ve been receiving a heartwarming number of donations, both financial and edible, from many churches, synagogues and individuals, some of whom are on this list.  We are grateful, and it’s made it possible for us to give Stop & Shop gift cards to all our clients today.  We’ll do the same thing at Christmas, so we really appreciate the contributions.
          Last year a wonderful woman by the name of Meg Lauer passed away much too soon.  She loved the pantry and asked that people donate to us in lieu of flowers.  We received many donations in her name, and her husband, Mark Lauer, still continues to remember us even though he lives far away.  Our deepest thanks continue to go out to the Lauer family.
          The Interfaith Caring Community, of which South Church is a member, will be having an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 24 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 59 East Main Street in Elmsford.  There will be music, words of wisdom and refreshments.  Bring some shelf-stable food items for the OLMC food pantry (please check for expiration dates).  Come one, come all.
          This coming Sunday, also November 24, the South Church teen group will be making pies for the pantry to give out the day before Thanksgiving.  Marc, Peter and Lenore will be with them and they’ll talk about the importance of food pantries and what it might be like to be food-insecure.  A great learning experience for the kids, and fun as well.  Thanks to Marc, Peter and Lenore for doing this.
          I was contacted by the leader of a group of Cub Scouts who want to help the pantry by sorting and stocking food on a Saturday morning.  We’ve received a donation of food from the Dobbs Ferry Garden Club, and we’re expecting another donation of food from Cabrini of Westchester, so, with the help of my husband Benny, the Scouts will have plenty to do.
          We’ll be open both morning and evening the day before Thanksgiving.  Benny and I will not be there, but the volunteers will carry on.  Thanks to all of you.
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November 13, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 30 families, including 60 adults, 39 children and 14 seniors.  This came to a total of 105 people served.

          This coming Saturday there’s a potluck at South Church.  We’ll eat and then we’ll watch the movie “Groundhog Day”.  Anybody on this list would be welcome at the potluck.  Just call me or send me an e-mail and I’ll give you the details.  The more the merrier.
          Christmas and New Years has been a thorny problem for us at the pantry because they both fall on a Wednesday, when we’re usually open.  We’ll be closed on both those days, but we wanted our clients to have some food for the holidays, so we decided we’ll be open on Monday, December 23 both in the morning from 10:00 to noon and in the evening from 5:30 to 7:00.
          We received a wonderful grant from the Anbinder Foundation.  They’ve helped us in previous years also, and we are eternally grateful to the people at the Foundation and their local associates as well.
          Today a woman by the name of Betty Cruz-Roman from Westchester Independent Living Services visited us.  She sat and talked with several of our clients to see if her organization can be helpful in some way to our clients.  She’s going to accompany one of our clients to a meeting to discuss insurance issues, and she’s going to come back once a month to see how she can help people.  And she speaks both English and Spanish!  I’m glad we have a chance to offer our clients other help in addition to food.
          We also received more diapers from Dr. Nitin Gupta of Rivertowns Pediatrics.  This is the second time he’s helped us out with diapers.  He’s a very caring, concerned person, and he knows how expensive diapers are.  We’re lucky he has established his practice here in the Rivertowns.

 

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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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