Good afternoon, everyone – yesterday, in spite of the snow, we served a total of 22 families, including 31 adults, 32 children and 7 seniors.
This afternoon we received a generous donation of fourteen bags of shelf-stable food from Ardsley United Methodist Church. Ken Stahn is the one who organizes the collection of food at the church, and he’s the one who brings the food to us in the trunk of his car. Thanks so much to AUMC and to Ken for your consistent attention to our pantry. We receive donations from many churches and synagogues, but Ardsley Methodist, Dobbs Ferry Lutheran and Zion Episcopal are the churches who donate to us regularly and reliably. Thanks to all of you.
Speaking of donations, this coming Tuesday we’ll be receiving the second of three collections of food from Springhurst School in Dobbs Ferry. This month we’ll be receiving a donation from the second- and third-graders at the school. The Springhurst Kids Can program is a long-running help for our pantry, and this year it’s being spearheaded by Nola Kende Long and her associates. Springhurst also sends us unopened food which is not taken by the students during lunch every day. Custodian Jose Soto drops the food off every Tuesday and Friday, and we find it waiting for us in the refrigerator.
This morning Benny and I met with a couple who operate a food pantry at the First Presbyterian Church in Yorktown. They’ve developed a laptop database which they use to register and sign in the clients each time the pantry is open. We’ve been doing it all by hand since we opened in 2013, but we were wondering if it could be done more easily if it were all computerized. They’ve e-mailed us an overview of the program, and Benny will be discussing it with the subcommittee in charge of finding the most equitable way of providing food for our clients. We’re in the process of re-interviewing our clients now to update our information in preparation for this change, so now would be a good time to put everything into a database, if we decide to go ahead with it. The Yorktown pantry, by the way, has been in operation for 25 years. The woman we talked to this morning has been running the program for 15 years. After 4-1/2 years, we’re the new kids on the block.
This week I got an e-mail from Felipe Henao, Director of the Student Life program at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. He told me they would like to establish a food pantry at Mercy for their food-insecure students like the pantry at Mercy’s Bronx campus. He wanted advice from us and he invited us to visit him at Mercy. I told him that when Lyn returns from vacation I’ll let him know and we’ll set a time for both of us to drop over there and see what they have planned. I also invited him to visit us one Wednesday morning to see how we operate.
In response to our USDA anti-discrimination training we’ve posted on our website and on our brochure that we are an equal-opportunity provider. And we have a notification posted at the pantry with a USDA website listed, in case anybody ever wanted to lodge a complaint against us.