July 27, 2020

Good afternoon, everybody – It looks like we’ve actually plateaued, but at a high number.  This past Wednesday we served 118 families.  Last week it was 113, the week before it was 118 and the week before it was 124.  We’ll see in the next few weeks if people are called back to work and won’t need help from us after that.  Otherwise, we’ll continue as we have been for as long as we can.

          Included in those 118 families were 251 adults, 165 children and 30 seniors, for a total of 446 people served.  Last week it was 423 and the week before it was 440.
          This week our clients took home a Stop & Shop gift card (in varying amounts depending on the size of the family); a box of shelf-stable food from Feeding Westchester and our pantry; a bag of produce from Fable Farm, the Roots & Wings kitchen garden, Harvest Market in Tarrytown and the Unitarian Society of Westchester’s garden;  homemade soup and bread from MadeByRK; and a new offering of potato salad, coleslaw and tuna salad from Whitsons Culinary Group, which provides food to Children’s Village.  We’ll stay in touch with Whitsons in hopes that they can help us again.
          Harpers/On The Line will be back at a future point with prepared food for our clients, but Renee Kashuba of MadeByRK (www.foodmadebyrk.com, 914-231-7999) is changing her operation and will no longer be able to bring soup and bread for our clients.  The effort she has made to provide gourmet soups and homemade breads for upwards of 120 families every week is astounding.  Thank you so much for all your help, Renee.  Dobbs Ferry is lucky to have you.
          Beginning in August we’ll no longer be able to offer gift cards every week to our families.  We like the gift card model because it ensures that our clients will have some choice in what foods they choose for their families, but we’ll be cutting back to providing gift cards twice a month instead of every week.
          When clients take home a box of food and a bag of produce they have no choice in what they get.  We won’t be able to go back to allowing client choice for some time, though, since we’ll be operating out of doors as long as we can.  Gathering inside the church and looking through our shelves will be impossible during the pandemic.  This week we’re beginning to switch from one section of South Church to another in preparation for the fact that the Community Nursery School, Days of Wonder daycare and Creative Hearts arts program will be resuming their activities in the church this coming September.
          One bright spot is Ardsley United Methodist Church.  This past Saturday they again held a food drive for the pantry at church, and again ended up with a huge number of bags and boxes of shelf-stable foods for us to offer to the clients.  Special thanks to Judy Whelan and the Ardsley Methodist Women’s Group for making this tremendous effort for us.  We’ll start giving out the food this week.
          This past Wednesday, in addition to offering food and gift cards, a Spring Community Partners volunteer was on hand to go over a questionnaire that had been sent to Dobbs Ferry families from the School District, asking their preferences about whether they’d be comfortable with children attending school in person, continuing with remote learning, or a hybrid of the two.  Quite a few parents were helped by the volunteer, Milagros, who speaks both English and Spanish.  Twenty questionnaires were filled out with Milagros’s help and will be forwarded to the District as they wrestle with how to start the school year in September.
          The people in this list have constantly been generous to the pantry through all the years we’ve been in operation.  Please remember us now as we continue to serve the many people who  need our help.  There’s a PayPal feature on our website (www.dobbsferrypantry.org) or you can send us a check made out to the pantry and sent to us at South Presbyterian Church, 343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522.  Thanks in advance to everybody who stands by us.


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