April 14, 2021

Good evening, everyone – I wasn’t at the pantry today but all the other volunteers handled everything like a well-oiled machine, including my husband, Benny, who signed the clients in.  Today we served a total of 131 families, including 261 adults, 175 children and 43 seniors. totaling 479 people.  Four new families signed up.  Just about every week we have at least one new family.  And our dedicated delivery team made 47 deliveries.

I have exciting news!  Gretchen Skaggs, our own beloved volunteer, has offered to become a second pantry co-director with Vera Halpenny.  Now I can really retire!  We’re going out to lunch next week so that we can discuss all the tasks they’re going to take on.  They’ll make a wonderful team.  Thank you, Vera and Gretchen!

The pantry received a spectacular surprise today.  Out of the blue, five cars pulled up from the Scarsdale Woman’s Club and they unloaded tons of food that they had collected for us a couple of days ago.  It’s a lot of work to gather all that food, pack it into cars and drive it over to us, so my hat is off to the women (and men) of the Scarsdale Woman’s Club.  And they’re going to do it for us again in May and June.

We had a visitor today from the Elmwood Day Camp, just to see how things work.  When the camp opens for the summer she wants to decide how they can help the pantry.  Vera is in touch with them, and I believe they may do a couple of food drives for us over the summer.  The children will be learning about giving and helping others.

And every week we faithfully receive from Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings enough of one vegetable or fruit to serve our whole population.  Last night they came as always, this time bringing enough spinach for all our clients.  Special thanks to Cantor Robin Joseph for organizing this effort and seeing that it happens every week.

This past Monday Robin and I attended a zoom meeting sponsored by the Hudson River Presbytery, which oversees all the Presbyterian churches throughout the Hudson Valley.  This was a special meeting for food pantries, and there were pantries there from as far north as Monroe, Jefferson Valley and Cold Spring.  And all the pantries are struggling with the same issues we are here at South Church – occupying all the space in the church and figuring out how to house both a food pantry and an active church congregation.  Most of the pantries have seen an explosion of clients like we have.  Susan DeGeorge, Clerk of Session, suggested that a quarterly meeting of pantries may be beneficial and helpful.  I mentioned this to the volunteers today at our zoom meeting, and it was agreed that I’ll let Susan know that the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry would appreciate this ongoing support.

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