July 30, 2020

Good afternoon, everybody – Yesterday we tied our all-time high by serving 130 families (last week 118 families), including 273 adults, 177 children and 41 seniors for a total of 491 people (the most people served ever).  On Wednesday, July 31, 2019 we served 46 families and 161 people.   We were expecting a big turnout because people were aware that beginning in August, sadly, we must give gift cards only twice a month instead of every week.  We averaged 121 families a week in July, and 451 people.  In July of 2019 we averaged 32 families and 114 people.

          This past Wednesday, in addition to the food we received from Feeding Westchester and the food purchased by us from Shoprite, Aldi and Harvest Field Market, we also gave out food that had been donated to us by Ardsley United Methodist Church, Cabrini of Westchester and a neighborhood collection done by families living on Belden Avenue in Dobbs Ferry.  My block of Ogden Place did a food drive, and now we’ve been matched by the folks on Belden Avenue.  It takes many neighborhoods to run a pantry.  Thank you, Belden!
          We also received another beautiful box of vegetables from the garden at the Unitarian Society of Westchester in Hastings.  Liz has been delivering vegetables to us every week since the beginning of the summer.  Thanks so much to Liz and to all the parishioners who till that garden.  We’ve always been served on Wednesday mornings with fragrant offerings from our own Roots & Wings kitchen garden, and now our cup runneth over with more offerings from Hastings!
          This week we also got a donation of food and cat food from a family whose daughter was attending an entrepreneurship camp.  It turned out that as an entrepreneur, her daughter made and sold delicious flans, some to us volunteers.  She divided the proceeds from the sale of her flans and donated half to the pantry!  What an entrepreneur!  And what a supportive mother, too, who helped her daughter deliver the flans to us at the pantry on Wednesday!
          Every week I attend a Zoom meeting run by Feeding Westchester, the umbrella organization over most of the food pantries and soup kitchens in Westchester.  It’s turned into sort of a support group as we all struggle with how to help many more people under the strictures imposed by COVID.  Feeding Westchester has its own problems  – today Monique McCoy, who runs the meetings, said that this summer they’ve provided pantries and soup kitchens with 2 million pounds of food, in comparison with last summer’s 800,000.  Delivering all that food throughout the county has been a particular challenge, and they’ve actually had help this summer from the National Guard!
          Have I mentioned on this blog how much we’ve been supported by SPRING Community Partners?  Yes, I have, so I won’t repeat myself.  Thanks, SPRING.  Thanks, Robin and Ellen.

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