June 7, 2020

Good afternoon, everybody – last Wednesday the Pantry set another record – 129 families served, including 259 adults, 177 children and 36 seniors, bringing us to 471 people served in a two-hour period.  129 families is a 268.6% increase from the numbers we used to serve.  We have several families to whom we deliver food also, because they’re immunocompromised, disabled, or for some other reason.  Wednesdays are busy days.  And we wrap it all up by having a Zoom meeting in the afternoon to figure how to manage in the coming weeks.

          One thing we’re concerned about is the fact that the breakfast-and-lunch program, which has been providing free meals to all Dobbs Ferry students and their families, will stop as of June 26.  We were hoping the program could continue through the summer, but it will have to stop when the school year ends.  And there will be no camp this summer either.  So, things will be harder for our pantry clients.  Let’s hope that some people can get back to work once Phase 2 starts this week.
          Thanks to volunteer Duke Coffey for concocting a bleach solution to use on all the tables that are used for assembling the bags and boxes of food we give out.  By the time the volunteers leave the church on Wednesday at noon the pantry is squeaky clean.  This is in addition to all the sanitary wipes, sprays, gloves and masks we’ve always been using.
          A special shout-out to community members who have provided our clients with diapers and baby wipes, including Dr. Nitin Gupta of Rivertowns Pediatrics and Spring Community Partners volunteer Suzy Barnett.  Today she left a pile of diapers and wipes at my house, which we’ll start giving out this coming Wednesday.  And she had to wait on a long line at Costco to do this.
          And another shout-out to Ron DiRusso and Matt Kay at Hudson Social in Dobbs Ferry for lending the pantry some refrigerator space for extra milk we had received from Fable Farm.  They were life savers!
          We heard from the Ardsley Middle School Student Council!  They’re going to do a food collection for us and we’ve asked them to drop it off on a Monday, when the volunteers are gathered for a Feeding Westchester delivery.  And I’m going to try to do a food drive on my block, too.  If anybody wants to do a block or neighborhood food drive for us we need these foods:
canned green vegetables
canned fruit
canned tomatoes
pasta sauce (in a plastic jar if possible so it doesn’t break in the bag)
individual juice packets or boxes
unsweetened cereal
canned hearty soups
individual raisin packets
shelf-stable milk
peanut butter
size 6 diapers.
          This past Wednesday the clients went home with a box of food, a gift card, prepared food from Hudson Social/On The Line, bread and soup from MadeByRK, and beautiful produce from Fable Farm.  With help from us around food and diapers, hopefully the clients can use what income they have to come up with rent payments, etc. until this pandemic comes to an end.


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