Good afternoon, everybody – Last Wednesday we were not able to open the Food Pantry due to the storm. This has only happened a couple of times in the ten years since we’ve been open, but now that the pantry is outdoors we’re much more vulnerable to bad weather. This was the year when we needed a mild winter, but we’ve had the opposite in February. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for an improvement from here on in.
Yesterday was a nice day, and we served 140 families with 279 adults, 181 children and 48 seniors, totaling 508 people. Our hardworking volunteers delivered food to 40 families.
The Scarsdale Woman’s Club collected more food for us this past Monday, and a caravan of cars arrived yesterday, just like in the past, with each car chock full of shelf-stable foods, plus a whole supply of gift cards for us to use on food. Vera and I met over Zoom with the club’s philanthropy group last week, and the members were extremely engaged and full of questions. That club has been steadily in existence since 1918.
Yesterday we also received a gift of 100 individually-wrapped blankets from the Director of Operations of a Mount Vernon charter school. His school had received thousands of these blankets, donated by Delta Airlines. They must be donating blankets because fewer people are flying. Right now we’re scaling back what we offer at the pantry because we can’t set up as many tables as we usually do due to the snow. But at some point we’ll manage to offer these blankets and lots of the other freebies we usually have for our clients.
Another donation we received was from the Peace Islands Institute, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging diversity and mutual respect. They brought us 500 packets of sanitary hand wipes to give out to the clients. Unfortunately, they arrived so late that all of us at the pantry had gone home and they had to leave the packages in the bin in front of the church. The PII has worked closely with Woodlands, and I’m sure we’ll be working together with them in the future. A couple of them had wanted to stay and help out at the pantry, but we’ll leave that for another time.
One of our volunteers has been in touch with a wonderful organization by the name of the Sharing Shelf (www.sharingshelf.org). They’re located in Port Chester and they provide clothing, backpacks, diapers, feminine hygiene products and other items to needy families. The hope is that they may be able to help with the twice-yearly clothing boutique offered by SPRING Community Partners. When warm weather comes, they could at least have a table at the pantry to talk to our clients about what they need. The Sharing Shelf volunteers could develop a relationship with some of our clients. I see the beginnings of a warm relationship between us, and a great help to our clients!
Has anybody on this list gotten their hair cut at Loretta’s Mane Station in Dobbs Ferry (10 Cedar Street, 914-591-5212)? She has driven past the pantry on Wednesdays and wanted to help, so she created a flyer, which we’ll offer to the clients next week, offering a one-time free haircut to any client of the pantry on Mondays (when she’s usually closed) in February. Let’s see how many clients take her up on her offer. And hopefully, when some of the clients go back to work, they can continue on with her. thank you, Loretta!
Let’s hope we can be open every Wednesday for the rest of the winter!