August 14, 2020

Good afternoon, everybody – this past Wednesday we served a total of 119 families, compared to last week’s 105.  The families consisted of 245 adults, 154 children and 37 seniors, for a total of 436 people served.  We thought we’d see more people this week because we gave Stop & Shop gift cards this week.  The next time we offer gift cards will be on the final Wednesday of the month.

          This was the first time we operated out of the South Church sanctuary in preparation for the opening of Community Nursery School, Days of Wonder Child Care and the Creative Hearts Art Program.   It went pretty smoothly because we’re a congenial team who work well together, even though our team has doubled or tripled in size in order to serve so many clients.  And the clients made the transition well also.
          The presence of SPRING Community Partners has been so helpful because the members are involved in many different school-related activities.  Every week there are volunteers, both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking, to provide guidance to the clients about anything they’re uncertain about – and, believe me, there’s plenty to be uncertain about as parents and their children get ready for school to start.
          Another activity SPRING has started is a small outdoor camp activity for the next couple of weeks for children who haven’t been able to have any camp experience all summer.  It’s taking place on the Childrens’ Village campus and, according to co-directors Robin Larkins and Ellen Crane, it’s a great success even though all the participants have to observe COVID strictures.  They’ve even arranged for a van to transport the children to Childrens’ Village.  SPRING is an amazing group.
          Last week Village Clerk Liz Dreaper dropped off a supply of reusable tote bags with information about the 2020 Census on the bags.  It was just another reminder for people to fill out the Census questionnaire.  Each client got a tote bag and was reminded again of the importance of participating in the census.  The Village of Dobbs Ferry continues to back the pantry in so many important ways, and much of the support comes from Mayor Rossillo, Village Clerk Dreaper, Village Administrator Manley, Fire Chief Marron, and many others.  Thanks to you all!
          This past Sunday Marc Taiano was invited to come to the Irvington Farmers’ Market after it closed, and he was provided with produce left over from the vendors.   We’ve been told that we can go there every Sunday around 1:30 and there will be produce for us.  Before COVID the Pantry used to occupy a table a couple of times every summer, and shoppers would contribute generously in order to help the pantry.  The people at the Farmers’ Market have been very kind to us for years.
          Every week there’s a Zoom meeting sponsored by Feeding Westchester, where pantry and soup kitchen volunteers can get together to schmooze and hear what’s new from Feeding Westchester staff.  This week Monique McCoy, Agency Relations Director, warned us that some unemployed people may start having their unemployment benefits expire towards the end of this month and the beginning of next month.  Let’s hope those benefits are extended or all of our pantries and soup kitchens will see another uptick in hungry families.
          Hope everybody got through Tropical Storm Isaias without too much suffering.  We’ve paid our dues for this hurricane season, don’t you think?


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