May 9, 2018

Good evening, everybody – today we served a total of 25 families with 51 adults, 39 children and 8 seniors.

While the pantry was in process, we were gifted with a donation of 32 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from Troop 2147 in Dobbs Ferry.  The cookies flew off the shelf like hotcakes.
One of our long-time volunteers, Barbara M., posted a request on Facebook for people to donate diapers to our pantry.  She got an enthusiastic response!  Many people came through with diapers and wipes for us, and a couple of people made PayPal donations to us on our website as well.  Thank you, Barbara.  And thank you for providing toiletries for the clients in honor of Mothers’ Day also, and for planning to do the same thing for Fathers’ Day.
The Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington is having its thrift sale Friday and Saturday of this week.  They’ll have some tremendous bargains.
Spring Community Partners is also having its free clothing boutique on Saturday morning.
And Saturday is the day when letter carriers in Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Irvington are collecting shelf-stable foods when they drop off the mail.  Hopefully everybody on this list who lives in those villages will put some food out.  But first, check the expiration date.  Our pantry will be the grateful recipient of whatever food is collected in Dobbs Ferry and deposited at the Post Office.

I’ll be away for the next two weeks.  I was away for a couple of weeks in April and the pantry ran like clockwork.  We’ve got a team of volunteers who never give up and who never get overwhelmed.  A heartfelt thank you to all of you.❤
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May 2, 2018

Good evening, everybody – Today we served a total of 23 families, including 36 adults, 29 children and 12 seniors.

If you were at Stop & Shop on Saturday, you know that we were there all day asking customers to buy some food for the pantry and donate it to us as they were leaving.  We ended up with 2,700 pounds of food, much of which has either already been given out today, is neatly stacked on our shelves or is neatly stacked in our various storage areas.  The people who shop at Stop & Shop are a caring and concerned bunch, and our clients appreciate that.  A particular shout-out to our volunteers, who took turns all day handing out lists of the foods we need and encouraging people to donate.  People gave cash also, which we appreciate just as much.
The next food drive we’re looking forward to is the mail carriers’ food drive, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 12.  I don’t know if it takes place in other villages, but it definitely happens in Dobbs Ferry, and the Post Office has told us we can have whatever shelf-stable foods the letter carriers bring back from their routes on that day.  If you live in Dobbs, please remember to put some shelf-stable food into a bag and leave it for your mail carrier on that day.  Please be kind and make sure that the food hasn’t expired.  Sometimes people take food off their shelves and donate it without realizing that it expired a long time ago.  Then we at the pantry end up having to throw it out.
Then at the end of May or early June the Springhurst Kids Can campaign will be providing us with food brought in by the fifth and sixth graders.
Saturday’s food drive, the letter carriers’ collection and the Kids Can campaign are coming at an important time for us, because donations drop off in the summer, when we need food just as much.  So we really welcome the efforts these people have made to provide us with food for our clients at this time.  And please, don’t forget us over the summer.  The clients’ children don’t even get their free meals at school during the summer, so the food they get at the pantry is even more important.
See everybody at the South Church gala this Saturday!
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April 26, 2018

Good morning, everyone.  My husband is slowly on the mend from his surgery, and I was able to be at the pantry yesterday evening.  In the morning the volunteers served a total of 22 families, including 37 adults, 19 children and 9 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 11 families with 30 adults and 24 children.  This brought us to a total of 33 families, 67 adults, 43 children and  9 seniors.  We averaged 28 families a week in April.

I hope everyone on this list is planning to do some shopping at Stop & Shop this Saturday.  It’s the big food drive sponsored by Feeding Westchester and NBC/Telemundo.  It’s happening at Stop & Shop stores all over Westchester, and we at the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry are staffing the drive here in town, which means we get to keep whatever food is donated.  And WE NEED FOOD!  So please come, buy something and drop it into the bin.  Right now we especially need tuna, peanut butter, dried or canned black beans and spaghetti or linguine.  We’ll be there all day, so come and say hello!
South Presbyterian Church is having a huge gala on Saturday evening, May 5 entitled “We Are All Connected”.  It’s a musical gala and silent auction with delicious food prepared by our world-renowned chefs Peter and Alex.  It will feature a Colombian group by the name of Pablo Mayor & Folklore Urbano, as well as flamenco dancers and on and on and on.  And if you don’t want to eat you can come for the show and dessert.  To order tickets call Linda Jo Platt at 914-693-0299 or send her an email at ljberrypl@aol.com.
A special shout-out to our supporters at Springhurst School.  They’re doing a Kids Can drive for us during the month of May.  This time the fifth and sixth graders and their families will be providing the food for us.  This is good timing because our clients can’t count on school lunches for their children in the summer, and we need to have plenty of food for them once school ends.  Thanks especially to Nola Kende Long for organizing these drives for us this year.
Robin Larkins and the other volunteers at Spring Community Partners are hard at work getting ready for their twice-yearly clothing boutique, where families who are struggling to feed and dress their children can find some clothing for them to wear this summer.  They do it every year in November and May, and every volunteer deserves a hug, because it’s a lot of work.  They collect clothing all year long, and it’s all eagerly taken by the needy families within a few hours.
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April 4, 2018

Good evening, everybody – This morning we served a total of 24 families, including 39 adults, 21 children and 15 seniors.  It’s a relief to be back in our weekly routine.

This coming Sunday, April 8 there’s a concert to benefit the Midnight Run at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 59 Main Street in Elmsford at 3:00.  General admission is $20 and $7.50 for students.  It’s Christian rock, sung in Spanish by a group called Ministerios Bethania.  It’s supposed to be very uplifting, which we can all use about now.  They’re also collecting household cleaning supplies for the Our Lady of Mount Carmel food pantry.
We’re still working on computerizing our sign-in sheet so that we can join the 21st century.  Benny has put it on our tablet and it’s color-coded to match the number of people in each client’s family.  We’ve been giving out extra pasta and beans depending on how many people there are in a family.  This is the way most other pantries do it, and it seems equitable.  The clients are still getting used to the idea, but I think it will work out.  We’ll see which foods we end up regularly giving out as we see how it affects our budget.
There’s a kind woman who consistently sends us diapers and baby wipes every month.  She keeps in touch with me to see which sizes we need.  This past week she sent us more baby wipes (we give them out to people who don’t have babies also) and diapers in sizes 2, 4, 5 and 6.  This has made such a difference since our clients who have babies are always asking for diapers because they’re so expensive.
We got our first e-mail of the season from Roots & Wings, talking about their weekly gardening sessions on Saturday mornings in the community garden behind South Church.  It’s encouraging that gardening can actually begin.  If anybody wants to know more about the garden, please let me know.  Roots & Wings is eager to share their information.
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march 28, 2018 – beautiful Easter bags decorated by the children of the Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington for the children of the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry. Thank you!!

march 28 2018 st. barnabas easter bgas

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March 29, 2018

Good evening, everybody – yesterday in the morning we served a total of 26 families, including 52 adults, 32 kids and 13 seniors.  In the evening we served another 13 families, including 23 adults, 26 children and 1 senior.  That brings us to a total of 39 families with 75 adults, 58 children and 14 seniors.  Considering that we were closed for two of the four Wednesdays, we averaged 26 families a week for the month of March.

 

The children of the Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington worked long and hard, under the tutelage of Rachael and Barbara, to provide our clients’ children with beautifully-decorated Easter bags filled with toys and goodies.  Each bag had a drawing, saying and/or sticker on it.  The parents at the pantry were delighted to take them home to their children, and we have a few left over for next week.  Plus the congregation sent us a monetary donation for us to buy Easter gift cards for our clients.  The Church of St. Barnabas is a loving, caring organization, and we’re lucky to have them near us.
Then, when we walked into the kitchen at the pantry yesterday there were six bags of food collected and delivered by the Ardsley United Methodist Church.   The Ardsley United Methodist Church has taken care of us for a long time, and Ken Stahn delivers the food to us at least once a month.  Thanks, Ken, and thanks to everyone at AUMC who consistently brings food for us.
For some time Springhurst School has been sending us unopened food that is not taken by the students during lunch.  They used to have to throw it away, but now custodian Jose S. brings the food to us and puts it into the refrigerator every Tuesday and Friday.  We find lots of fruit, cheese sticks and yogurt in our refrigerator on Wednesday mornings.  Now the middle/high school has joined the program.  We should be finding a lot more lunchtime food in our refrigerator from now on.  The Dobbs Ferry schools have been working hard to find ways to avoid wasting food, and our pantry is one of the lucky recipients of that effort.
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March 21, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – Today, for the third time this year, and the fourth time in the entire history of the pantry, we were closed due to another storm.  Surely, this is the last time, so that we can get back to regularly helping our hungry clients.

Last Saturday Ellen represented the pantry at an open house to discuss the upcoming CSA (community-supported agriculture).  This year the farm providing the fruit and vegetables every Sunday will be FABLE, located in Ossining.  The farmer will be donating a share to the pantry.  Thank you, FABLE.  Plus we’ll purchase another share, so that we can be sure to have plenty of fresh produce every Wednesday for our clients.  They’ve come to rely on fresh produce every week throughout the summer, and we’re glad to provide it to them, in addition to whatever canned fruits and vegetables they take from the shelves.  And thank you, Ellen, for telling everybody at the open house about the pantry.
Last Friday night Ellen, Andrew and I attended a soup cook-off at Springhurst School sponsored by the Springhurst PTSA.  The soups were provided by local restaurants in the Rivertowns, and you got to vote on your favorite.  The soups were so delicious that it wasn’t easy to pick just one, but the important thing is that it earned money for the PTSA for their valuable efforts all year.  And they encouraged whoever came to the cook-off to bring something for the pantry, so we ended up taking some canned and packaged foods away with us when we were finished.  Springhurst and all the Dobbs Ferry schools have been a consistent, reliable presence for us at the pantry for years.  Their support encourages us and keeps us going.
We got a surprise e-mail this morning from the Food Bank for Westchester, under whose umbrella we function, that they’ve changed their name to Feeding Westchester.  I don’t think much else will change except the name.  Anybody can visit their new website at www.feedingwestchester.org.
Next Wednesday I’m sure we’ll be open.  It’s Spring, after all.
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March 15, 2018

Good evening, everybody.  Since Benny and I weren’t at the pantry yesterday, here is Ellen’s e-mail, reporting what went on.  A special thanks to Carol Seischab for collecting the food donations from the bin at the Dobbs Ferry Library and bringing them to the pantry yesterday.  Carol talked to Elizabeth Hobson, the new director of the library, who seems interested in advocating for the pantry.  I’ll drop in to chat with her soon.

Ellen’s attempt at a chatty email:

Today Lyn, Andrew, Mary Anne, Tricia, Kevin, Tom and Ellen served 77 people across 22 families, with a welcome assist from Lyn’s visiting friend Ann and Mary Anne’s visiting twin Ruth. When we opened, our larders were chock-full after recent food drives and community donations, and we were able to supplement our shelf-stable items with frozen foods (meat, fish and blueberries), as well as fresh produce delivered this morning by Peapod. Since January we (that is, Molly and Benny) had been interviewing clients to reconfirm household composition, and today we started our efforts to provide more to larger families. We will implement this slowly, beginning just with pasta and beans as we work out the logistics of purchasing and storing the quantities required. As the clock struck noon, our pasta and black bean shelves were pretty bare – and wouldn’t you know, just then someone came from Woodlands Community Temple with… you guessed it, mostly pasta and beans!

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March 8, 2018

Good evening, everybody – Yesterday, for the second time this year, we closed the pantry due to stormy weather.  We worry about people slipping and falling while trying to carry home bags of food.  Will winter ever end??

 

Last Wednesday, after the pantry was finished, we took Lyn out to lunch to celebrate her birthday.  We volunteers need to party once in a while to celebrate all the work we do together!
Our subcommittee will be meeting this Friday in order to solidify our plans to begin to offer varied amounts of food, depending on the size of the families.  This is done in most of the other pantries in Westchester County.  We have some families with eight people in the family, and other families where there are only two or three.  And we have single people also.  It means spending extra funds in order to have food available to those larger families, but that is part of our mission, and we’re determined to do it.
I’ll be at the Food Bank for Westchester this coming Tuesday to meet the incoming Agency Relations Manager.  These events at the Food Bank are worthwhile because it gives us a chance to meet and mingle with people from the other food pantries in the country and learn how they’re doing things.  The people who run these pantries are a warm-hearted lot, and I’ve learned a lot by visiting them while they’re running their pantries.
I hope everybody on this list is okay despite the two storms we’ve gone through in Westchester County.  Many people have lost power, and some are staying with friends or at hotels.  Good luck to everybody, and let’s look forward to spring.  Clocks go forward this weekend!

 

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March 1, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday morning we served a total of 36 families with 68 adults, 64 children and 10 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 5 families with 14 adults and 11 children, for a total of 41 families with 81 adults, 75 children and 10 seniors.  We averaged 27 families a week in February.  We were closed due to bad weather on February 7.

Ellen received an e-mail from the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, advising that there will be a showing of the documentary “Wasted”, followed by a panel discussion, on Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.  It’s $15 for nonmembers and $10 for members.  It’s about the way food is wasted and ways to put a stop to that.  It sounds like something everybody on this list is concerned about.  I’m attaching the notice in case people want to attend.
We heard from Roots & Wings that there will be a CSA again this summer on Sunday mornings in the parking lot of South Church.  This year it’s from a farm in Ossining.   There will be a CSA open house where you can learn more about the CSA on Saturday, March 17 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Farm Room of the Days of Wonder daycare center at South Church.  Registration ends on May 1.  You can find more information by visiting www.RivertownsCommunityGardens.com.
The youth group at Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church sold bowls of chili on Super Bowl Sunday and they used the money to buy food, diapers and baby wipes for the pantry.  Heidi Van Osdol, together with Sue Fernandez, whose sons are members of the group, organized this activity with the help of Heidi’s husband, who is an expert chili-maker.  Heidi dropped off much of the food a couple of weeks ago, and last night, when we were open for the evening pantry, she and her son dropped off even more food, diapers and wipes.  And not only did the church send us a check, but Heidi handed us another check last night.  People complain that young people aren’t interested in church activities, but that’s not true of DFLC.  Thanks so much to the children and their parents, as well as the staff at the church.  And congratulations on your new pastor, Rev. Marie Meeks!
There is one kind woman in Greenburgh who sends the pantry diapers and baby wipes every month or so.  This month we received diapers in sizes ranging from 1 to 6, together with baby wipes for all.  This kind of regular, consistent help encourages us volunteers and makes it possible for our clients to care for their babies the way they want to.  Thanks to the many people who make it possible for us to help our clients.
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