September 20, 2017

Good afternoon, everybody – Today we served a total of 32 families, including 52 adults, 46 children and 6 seniors.

I downloaded the diaper applications in English and Spanish from the Junior League website and printed out some to give out to the clients today.  I offered to help people fill them out, but I wasn’t willing to do it while we were doing the pantry.  Several mothers said they would try to fill them out at home, and then make an appointment with me if they needed help answering some questions.  I’ll be glad to stay after the pantry closes next week if people need help.  One client had already filled out the application and submitted it to the Department of Social Services in White Plains.  She said she was due to start picking diapers up soon.

Giuliana Urrelo from the Westchester Hispanic Coalition was with us today, and she had several flyers to hand out to the clients, both about domestic violence and about issues around immigration.  She gave me some flyers to distribute at church also.  Plus, she was interested in the Diaper Bank applications, and took some with her to give to clients at WHC.

Several of our volunteers were on vacation today, and Maria Harris came to help out.  We continue to receive donations to the pantry in memory of her husband, Bernard, and I was able to give her a hug in appreciation.  She was amazed at the difference between our pantry, which serves around 30 families, and the pantry in Yonkers she usually works at, where they serve from 150-250 families in a period of two hours.  Their busiest time is before the pantry opens, when they’re filling bags with food so that clients can arrive, take their bags and leave quickly.  Very different from our client-choice pantry where clients have the luxury of chatting with us and mulling over what they’d like to take.

Benny, Carol and I attended the Food Bank’s annual conference at the DoubleTree in Tarrytown.  Wendy Armstrong from the Junior League was there and I posed for a picture with her.  The workshops were pretty interesting.  Carol attended one on “hunger mapping”, which is the Food Bank’s method of figuring out where people are still underserved by food pantries and soup kitchens and finding ways to deal with that.  Benny went to a social media workshop and I attended one on grant writing.  I came away with some new ideas of places who might give us a grant.

On Friday I helped out at the Irvington Presbyterian attic sale.  It was amazing how much of everything they had to sell, and in the end they made thousands of dollars, all for charity.  My neighbor, who organizes and runs this event, promises that they’ll send a check to us at the pantry, probably around Christmas.  We can use it!

Tricia and I harvested some beautiful tomatoes, collard greens, tomatillos and herbs from the Roots and Wings garden this morning, to add to the bounty we received from the CSA.  This bounty will hopefully continue for a few more weeks.

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