June 25, 2020

Good afternoon, everybody – Well, the pantry set another record yesterday.  We thought the numbers were going down once Westchester moved into Phase 2, but we were wrong.  Yesterday in the morning the volunteers served 121 families, including 247 adults, 158 children and 36 seniors.  Then in the evening they served another 9 families with 23 adults, 13 children and 2 seniors.  This brought us to a total of 130 families served, including 270 adults, 171 children and 38 seniors.  More than any other week.  479 individuals were served yesterday.  In the month of June we averaged 125 families and 464 people served per week.  In May it was 117 families and 438 people served.  In June of 2019 we averaged 39 families and 132 people per week.

          The good news is that we received a small grant from the United Way CARES program, and the Westchester County Department of Planning has made another grant available to pantries.  We need this money because our plan is to continue giving Stop & Shop gift cards to local families, in varying denominations according to the size of the family.  It’s important for us to continue this for now since this is the final week when families in Dobbs Ferry will be receiving free breakfasts and lunches from the School District.  We’re anticipating that the number of people coming to the pantry may increase in the coming weeks, due to the loss of these meals.
          Speaking of grants, thanks so much to those of you, on this list and elsewhere, who have kept us going with your monetary and food donations.  People in the area have been more than generous, which has made it possible for us to continue to help so many needy families.
          As an example, the Ardsley Middle School Student Council did a food drive among the students.  This past Monday while the volunteers were waiting for a delivery from Feeding Westchester two vans pulled up and the students dropped off bag after bag of food, gathered by the students from their families and elsewhere.  Special thanks to Bianca Ozdoba, President of the Council, for carrying this out.  Those donations will carry us for quite some time.
          In addition to their gift cards, the clients went home with food from Feeding Westchester, the Pantry and the Fable Farm CSA; prepared food from the On The Line consortium of restaurants, soup and bread from MadeByRK, and another bag of food from the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills.  The Stone Barns restaurant, Blue Hill, will be opening and they’ll need their resources for the restaurant.  The staff members who brought the food, though, said that Stone Barns is committed to continue helping pantries and soup kitchens who are helping many more people than previously.  They’ll get food to us as often as they can.  Our clients have definitely been well-served by caterers and restaurants in the community.  A virtual hug to them all!
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