November 17, 2021

We were busy today serving 108 families (39 deliveries, 69 pickups) but not too busy to
ask folks what foods will be gracing their Thanksgiving tables. Having just read that only a
couple countries (Liberia, for one) observe the holiday, I was curious how foreign-born
Americans celebrate, if at all, and how they spin our traditional menu. It came as no surprise that many incorporate favorite dishes from their native cuisines. Chicken got the most votes, often roasted with lots of vegetables. A woman who hails from Jamaica and has a large extended family will be serving pork, turkey, chicken, and maybe even goat. (I forgot to find out what time dinner will be served.) More than one cook will have collard greens on the side. Lasagna and beans and rice might be added to the mix. When it comes to dessert, apple pie is a big favorite and one mentioned sweet potato pie.

Alex Kulpa from the Alcott Montessori School brought Thanksgiving essentials – a full carload!

The kinks in the global supply-chain affected us this week when our produce wholesaler couldn’t deliver. Their fleet is short five trucks, thanks to delays in the purchase of replacement vehicles during the pandemic, so they arbitrarily chose to eliminate us from the route. Not wanting to disappoint, Robin solved the problem by driving to the N.J. warehouse to pick up what would fit in her car.

Elena and daughter dropping off goods from the Masters School.

Thankfully, our wagons have runneth over with the outpouring of holiday-themed donations from the community. The Masters School did a food drive, as did the Alcott Montessori School and Scarsdale Woman’s Club. Today we set up a special holiday table with an assortment of essential fixings like stuffing, sweet potatoes and candied yams, gravy, and cranberry sauce. We also gave out Stop & Shop gift cards to enable our neighbors to buy the meat or poultry of their choice. This timely bounty was a festive addition to our regular offerings from The Shop, Panera Bread, Mom’s Organic Market, and New York Bagel Authority. Also, Stop & Shop partnered with Feeding Westchester for the annual Thanksgiving Fill-a-Bus food drive.

Gretchen, shown with store manager Jim Luksis, collecting food from Stop & Shop’s Fill-a-Bus drive.

Meanwhile, Bundles of Joy, a not-for-profit devoted to providing diapers to those in need, supplied stacks of diapers to us and other Westchester food pantries. I recently learned that diapers run about $70 per child per month, which explains why they are in such constant demand.

Viviana from Bundle of Joy surveys her stockpile of diapers awaiting pickup.

Looking ahead… remember that tonight (11/18) The Cookery will be giving us a cut of the proceeds, dine in or take out. Duck cannoli and cauliflower ravioli, anyone?

Bill welcomes a huge donation from Scarsdale Woman’s Club.

Next week, the food pantry will be open as usual in the morning and again on the last Wednesday evening of the month. But then, because most of us will need to roll up our sleeves to prepare our own feasts, we’ll take a week off from posting a blog entry. (Besides, our IT gal will be on her way to California.) We will be back in two weeks with a report of, among other things, the Dobbs Ferry Girl Scouts’ super-duper Thanksgiving pie giveaway.

Until then, let me thank you for your ongoing generosity and support. I wish y’all a holiday table full of friends, family, and yummy dishes – and maybe even goat.

This week’s newsletter written by the Pantry’s very own southern belle, Ellen Klein.

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