Good morning, everybody – Yesterday in the morning we served a total of 30 families, including 48 adults, 37 children and 8 seniors. Then in the evening we served another 10 families, including 21 adults, 16 children and 2 seniors, for a total of 40 families, 69 adults, 53 children and 10 seniors. We averaged 33 families a week in July.
In the evening I got a chance to visit the Roots & Wings garden and came back with some spectacular herbs – basil, thyme, fragrant mint, etc., etc. It was all gone by the end of the evening.
Yesterday our clients told us that many of them went to Verizon on Sunday, and everybody was given at least one filled backpack. It wasn’t even necessary for them to bring those tickets we gave out last week. Everybody was very happy, and it was a great thing that Verizon did for people. Plus, everybody got a free smoothie from Smoothie King next door.
We decided to give out a little questionnaire to the clients yesterday, asking for feedback about the pantry. We asked for suggestions about how the pantry could better help them. Last night I got a chance to glance over their responses, and the most common request was for us to be open from 9:00 to 12:00 instead of from 10:00 to 12:00. This would call for more volunteer time, so we’ll discuss it in our next meeting (we hold a little meeting every Wednesday morning before the pantry opens).
I’ll be speaking about the pantry this coming Sunday at Ardsley United Methodist Church. They’ve been so very supportive of us through the summer, when food is even more important to the family since there’s no school. Last week they brought us SEVEN cases of assorted canned vegetables, plus a lot of other food. The people at AUMC are amazing, particularly Brenda and Ken Stahn, who are the people who bring the food from AUMC to South Church every time.
Last Sunday Benny and I represented the pantry at the community table of the Irvington Farmers’ Market. What a wonderful place, but dangerous, too – I ended up buying delicious bread and ice cream, just because it was there. I asked people to buy fruit or vegetables and we would refrigerate it until Wednesday. Nobody actually did that, but people donated a lot of cash, so it was definitely worth our being there. Plus we gave out all the brochures we had (thanks to Ellen for constantly printing those out), so we were able to educate people about the presence of the pantry and the hunger that exists even in the Rivertowns.
I’ll be handling the CSA for the next two Sundays. Starting this Sunday they’ll have bread for sale in addition to the produce (uh-oh – be still, my heart).
The Westchester Hispanic Coalition will be with us again this coming Wednesday to continue alerting people about the many free services they offer in White Plains.