Good afternoon, everyone – Today, for only the second time since we opened in 2013, we did not open the pantry due to fear of icy roads and sidewalks. Ellen texted all the clients, I e-mailed the volunteers and Lyn let Drew and Henry, our sexton, know that we’ll open next Wednesday as usual.
I got an interesting e-mail from Jen Cadenhead, who used to help run the pantry in the beginning and is now working on an advanced degree in nutrition. She introduced me to Suzie Zachman and Yinglu Peng. Suzie runs a nonprofit organization that helps parents make sure their children are eating a healthy diet. Yinglu is Suzie’s intern. Jen thought that Suzie could offer a series of nutrition sessions for our clients. Both we volunteers and the pantry clients could use the information Suzie makes available. She already sent me, in English and Spanish, a sheet with tips for eating well on a budget. The problem is offering nutrition advice while the pantry is going on. People are distracted, coming and going, and they usually have to rush away to pick up their children at school as soon as they pick up their food. Jen thought Roots & Wings could find a way for us to offer sessions at a different time, specifically to give advice about healthier eating. I’ll explore it with the Roots & Wings members, and discuss with them finding a way to encourage our clients to attend a series of sessions on nutrition. In the meantime, I’ll give out these information sheets that Suzie has sent me, and people can read them when they have time.
I also got an e-mail from the Food Bank, advising that on Saturday, April 8, the Food Bank, in conjunction with NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47, will be doing food drives at all the Stop & Shops in Westchester. If we can provide enough volunteers at the Dobbs Ferry Stop & Shop that day, we’ll get to keep all the food they collect. The Food Bank will keep whatever cash people donate. We’ve been able to come up with some volunteers from our pantry group, but if anybody on this list is available on April 8 at any point between 10:00 and 6:00, let me know and I’ll add you to the list. Later on in the day we could use help in transporting the food from Stop & Shop to South Church and storing it away in the upstairs office. South Church continues to explore, as are Spring Community Partners and Cabrini Immigrant Services, ways to make sure everybody in Dobbs Ferry feels safe, whether documented or undocumented. We’ll keep you posted.
March is National Nutrition Month. Eat well, everybody!