May 6, 2021

Hello!  I’m Gretchen and I’m the new Co-Director of the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry, alongside Vera Halpenny.  I have been volunteering at the Pantry since about June 2020 and am excited to be taking on this new role.

Due to rain and being the first week of the month, we had a slower day yesterday than the previous record-breaking week.  We served 129 families which represented 468 individuals.  In addition to the usual box of canned and shelf-stable items and a bag of fresh produce, our clients were treated to a variety of dairy and vegan items donated by MOM’s Organic Market, the newest grocery store in Dobbs, as well as delicious meals from Pete’s Saloon of Elmsford.  John Fuffi and his Trivia Night team generously donated their winnings for Pete’s to cook meals for the pantry.  John and Pete’s Saloon owner, Anthony Bartolotta, delivered the meals early Wednesday morning, rain and all.

We would like to thank Micah Spellman and the residents of The Landing for their generous fundraising efforts.  They were able to raise enough money for the Pantry to purchase 50 much needed shopping carts for our clients.  Many of our clients are either elderly, take public transportation or have small children, which can make it difficult for them to carry all of the items we have for them.  We saw a need for rolling shopping carts that we could give to those clients to help them get their groceries home and Micah and his neighbors generously filled that need!  Thank you!

We are excited to be benefiting from an on-going relationship between SPRING Community Partners and The Sharing Shelf.  The Sharing Shelf provides clothing to children in need throughout Westchester Country.  Over the last few weeks, in collaboration with SPRING, we have been taking surveys of our families with children 18 and younger.  Each child will be receiving seven days worth of outfits, from head to toe!  So far we have almost 100 children signed up.  The children are able to give The Sharing Shelf details such as their favorite colors and preferred clothing styles.  We are expecting to be able to work with SPRING to distribute the clothing before the end of this month.   We are also working on a collaborative way to work with SPRING to collect clothing donations, as well.  Stay tuned!

We are making great progress on our move out of the church’s sanctuary and into Fellowship Hall, now that the church will soon resume indoor services.  Our wonderful volunteers Duke Coffey, Suzanna Halatyn, and Suzy Barnett have worked long hours to assemble shelving and clear out the pews of our inventory.  We hope to be completely moved to our new area in the next week or two.

And finally we are so grateful to Dr. Nitin Gupta of Dobbs Ferry, Founder of Rivertowns Pediatrics and a member of South Presbyterian Church, who will be providing vaccines to our clients at next week’s Pantry.  Dr. Gupta approached us with this incredible offer recently and we immediately started signing up clients and their families.  We will have Spanish translators on hand to help answer questions and interpret instructions.

Items most needed this week: size 6 diapers, baby wipes, adult diapers, canned diced tomatoes and tuna.

Have a wonderful week, all!

Gretchen

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