April 10, 2020

Good afternoon, everybody – This past Wednesday we broke a record for the food pantry.  We served a total of 81 families, some of them for the first time.  The total included 150 adults, 111 children and 30 seniors, which came to 291 people served.

          At the beginning of the COVID crisis we were worried because many of the volunteers didn’t have masks.  Since then quite a number of people in the community have started making masks.  A couple of weeks ago Anilla brought masks made by a friend of hers in Hastings, and this past Wednesday friend of the pantry Teresa Williams brought more masks.  Ellen reports that Peggy Blizard, another friend of the pantry, has given her more masks for the volunteers, and she understands that Vikki Jones is also hard at work on masks.  Our thanks to all these people.  If we have enough masks we’ll offer them to the clients as they come to pick up their gift card and food.
          This past Wednesday the clients again got a gift card of varying denominations, depending on the size of their family; and they also received another box of shelf-stable food from Feeding Westchester.  In addition, Adele Falco, owner of Curiositas, provided the clients with fresh produce.  She has offered to be a “shopper” for us when we need it, and I think we’ll be taking her up on that.
          The clients also got prepared food sent by Harper’s Restaurant and The Cookery, and one of our clients posted a video on Facebook, showing the foods she brought home from the pantry.  The community, including the Mayor’s office, the Recreation Department and the restaurants, has been supporting the pantry all along, as has the Session of South Presbyterian Church.  Not to mention Spring Community Partners and all the individuals who have made donations to us.  We need all this support, and we deeply appreciate it.
          In addition to their food and gift card, each client this past Wednesday got information about the 2020 Census in either English or Spanish, provided by the Mayor’s office.  Hopefully they’ll sit down and read what it says and will respond to the Census before the cut-off date.
          Marc and Robin have been making contact-free deliveries to a number of our clients who can’t get to the pantry due to immunocompromised status or for some other reason.  Others in the community have also offered to make deliveries for us, so we should be able to help anybody who needs food but can’t get to us.
          We’re applying to the Presbyterian Church for a grant to help us continue to provide our clients with gift cards every week so that they can choose whatever food they want at Stop & Shop.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.
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