July 17, 2020

Good afternoon, everybody – The volunteers served slightly fewer families again this week.  Hopefully it means people are returning to work.  This week they served 113 families (last week it was 118 and the week before it was 124), including 235 adults, 155 children and 33 seniors, for a total of 423 people served.  Last week it was 440 people served and the week before it was 453.

          In addition to our own Roots & Wings kitchen garden and our CSA shares from Fable Farm, we’ve been receiving beautiful produce from the Unitarian Society in Hastings as well as produce sold to us at a discount by Harvest Market in Tarrytown.  Robin has been going every week for the last few weeks to pick up fruits and vegetables from the very caring people at Harvest Market so that our clients can continue to have fresh produce every week.
          This past week in addition to a box of shelf-stable food from Feeding Westchester and the pantry, and in addition to their bag of produce, the clients went home with homemade chicken soup and bread from Renee Kashuba of MadeByRK.  Harpers/OnTheLine will be returning soon with more prepared meals for several more weeks.
          This past Monday Benny and I picked up 1,000 cotton masks from Hanes, donated by State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins.  They came in packets of five, and we gave out quite a few to our clients as they stepped up to the table for their food.
          Robin, Marc and I had a zoom meeting with staff from South Church yesterday to explore how we’re going to function once the Community Nursery School, Days of Wonder and Creative Hearts resume their activities in the fall.  Over the spring and summer the pantry, due to the huge increase in clients we’ve been serving, has expanded into just about every corner of the church.  Assuming we won’t be serving quite as many people in the fall, one plan is for us to operate out of the church sanctuary, with food stored in a nearby room.  We’re going to try to maintain our outside operations as long as possible, since if clients need to be inside due to bad weather they’ll all need to have their temperatures checked and they’ll all have to answer a series of questions relating to contact with the COVID virus.  Plus it’s not ideal to have a lot of people crowded into an indoor space.  We may also try offering appointments to clients so that everybody doesn’t come at the same time.  These are all things we’re thinking about and experimenting with.  We’ll keep you posted about how it works out.
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