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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August 8, 2018

Good evening, everybody – Today we served a total of 21 families, including 45 adults, 28 children and 9 seniors.

We now have a bin at both doors of Stop & Shop, and yesterday when I was there one of the bins was packed with food and other items, all valuable.  I took a picture of the bin and then emptied it out and put it all in my car to bring to the pantry today.  Two of our volunteers brought everything in from my car this morning and we gave just about everything out today.  Thanks to everyone who bought something extra and put it into the bin.  Please keep doing that.  Our supplies run low very quickly, and generous donations are what keep us going.
Many people have also responded to our Facebook campaign.  We’ve received many Pay Pal donations on our website (www.dobbsferrypantry.org).  This has kept us going financially, which is crucial to our functioning, especially in summer.  It’s heartwarming that people we’ve never known before have made the effort to donate so that people in the Rivertowns don’t go hungry in the summer.
We continue to receive every month a standing order of diapers and baby wipes from one woman who’s a mother and knows how much these cost.  Amazon automatically brings the diapers and wipes to my door.  I load them into my car and take them over to South Church, where they’re quickly given out.  We cherish the consistency and reliability of a standing order like this, and I’m sending out a hug to that mother for helping us over the long term.
We were visited today at the pantry by a woman by the name of Mary Sherman, who’s an Americorp/VISTA volunteer spending a year working at Mercy College.  Mercy’s Bronx campus has a functioning food pantry because many of their students are struggling to pay for college, pay rent and eat.  Mary says that even Mercy staff and faculty sometimes need help with feeding themselves and their families.  What she’s working on is creating a similar food pantry at the Dobbs Ferry campus because students and staff at the Westchester campus need just as much help.  They’re working on remodeling some office space with shelves and a couple of refrigerators and figuring out how to staff and run the pantry.  She wanted to see how we operate, and we were happy to show her around.  We’ll be staying in touch, and we’ll be finding ways to help and advise the people at Mercy as they take this important step.  They’re hoping to have a Grand Opening in October, so watch for further news!
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August 7, 2018

New bin for pantry at Stop & Shop in Dobbs Ferry – please add something to the bin when you’re shopping there.  The hungry people of the Rivertowns will appreciate it!

stop and shop bin

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August 1, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – Today we served a total of 27 families, including 56 adults, 35 children and 13 seniors.

Our resident techie, Barbara M. has put up a request for donations, both edible and monetary, on several different Facebook pages throughout the Rivertowns, and you should see the response!  People in Manhattan donated!  Don’t know how Barbara does it, but thank you.  We needed this!  And we still need donations, so please keep it up, folks.
As soon as I can get to it, you’ll be seeing a bin at Stop & Shop, asking people to buy something extra and leave it in the bin for us.  The sign will have suggested items that we give out all the time.  Many of us shop there, so hopefully the bin will fill up quickly.
I got a notice that Dobbs Ferry’s Ferry Festa is scheduled for Saturday, October 6.  We’re thinking of having a table for the first time, similar to the one we sometimes occupy at the Irvington Farmers’ Market.  Mark that date on your calendar because people have a wonderful time that day.  Let’s hope the weather cooperates!

 

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July 26, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – I wasn’t at the pantry in the morning, but the team soldiered on and did a great job.  In the morning we served a total of 29 families, including 49 adults, 44 children and 10 seniors.  Then, since it was the last Wednesday of the month, in the evening Benny, Andrew and I served another 18 families with 44 adults, 25 children and 6 seniors.  This brought us to a total of 47 families, 93 adults, 69 children and 16 seniors for the day.  We averaged 36 families a week in July.

We have some dedicated volunteers at this pantry.  On Monday morning we received a huge delivery of food we ordered from Feeding Westchester,  Ellen was there to receive it, as was Eileen, Andrew, and I don’t know who else.  Then on Tuesday Ellen and Eileen went to Feeding Westchester in Elmsford to pick up our monthly allotment of fresh produce, brought it back to church and put it all away.  I don’t know if anybody else helped them, but it was at least the two of them.  Then on Wednesday before the pantry opened we got another huge delivery of food that wasn’t available from Feeding Westchester but was necessary for our families.  This had been ordered by Ellen, and was received before 8:00 a.m. by Andrew, Enzina and Ellen.  That same day Eileen, as she does every week, picked up our weekly bread from Stop & Shop while Ellen, as she does every week, picked up our weekly bagels from the New York Bagel  Authority.  See how we operate?
Then there are the bins.  The one at Irvington Library is overseen by Tom.  The one at Dobbs Ferry Library is overseen by me.  The one at Greenburgh Town Hall is overseen by me and/or Mary Anne.  And we’ll have another bin soon at Stop & Shop and someone will oversee that one.
Then there’s Carol, who every week brings boxes of food donated by both Zion Episcopal Church and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran.  And then she organizes all our shelves.
Then there’s Mary Anne who searches all the local supermarkets for products that are on sale, buys a big quantity, and brings it to church and puts it away.
Then there are those of us who have just shown up every week, week after week, for years.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  I think there’s a certain type of person who chooses to help at a food pantry.  You have to have a heart of gold, time and energy to dedicate to all these details, and the ability to stay with it for years and years.
I think there’s also a certain type of person who wants to be on this e-mail list.  These are people who care about hunger and need and want to know that something’s being done about it.  People from this list drop food off to us, send us checks and make donations using the Pay Pal function on our website (www.dobbsferrypantry.org).  Keep it up, everybody.  We appreciate you.
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