December 29, 2021

2021 DF Food Pantry Year-end Highlights – Volume II

We continue with last week’s 2021 review of the interactions between the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry volunteers and the neighbor-clients who receive the benefits of your donations of food and money.

“For me, it was receiving a sweet thank-you note from one of our neighbors. She took the time to make it special and heartfelt.” – Vera Halpenny (co-director of the DF Food Pantry).

“Every week I make one delivery to a client neighbor who I’ve been told has medical and social issues that keep her in her apartment. Every week she buzzes me in and I haul a heavy bag up two long flights of stairs to her door. I knock and give her the highlights of what’s in the bag. We chit-chat a little. I tell her to have a good week and that I’ll be back next Wednesday. She has never opened the door. I only know her by her voice. But I feel a connection to her. And I hope she feels connected to me, too.” – Sharon Bilman, utility infielder/outfielder and the only volunteer who has a bridge (well, a ramp actually) named after her.

“Helping families fill out seasonal clothing forms – picking favorite colors, and sizes for their kids – is a wonderful addition to the pantry’s work.” – Anonymous

“As someone who regularly deals with receiving deliveries, I’ve long been intrigued by the food donations received each week by Aldersgate Methodist Church on Broadway across from Mercy College. It fills the donation box to the brim, but not once have I seen who delivers it. Whoever it was, I began to imagine someone skilled in the clandestine arts. I recently learned his name is Harold Brown of AMC. So, thank you, Harold, and Happy New Year.”—Duke Coffey (Cleaning & Engineering division).

***

Below is a letter written last week to Molly Rodriguez, our former director, by one of our long-time donors, a senior citizen recently laid off from her job:

“As both a donor … and a senior citizen recipient of the wonderful bounty at the pantry, I want to thank each and every one of you volunteers, including those who work behind the scenes making deliveries to people who need them. Over the years I have come to know so many of you, and I am still trying to put names and faces to the newer volunteers from Spring and elsewhere.

“I appreciate that there is now a table for returns from the closed boxes that make it so much easier to just get what is needed without having to take items that would be better for other recipients. I rarely take a box these days because there is only so much that I need in my pantry at home, since I live alone. When there is a surfeit of produce my neighbors all benefit when I share the excess. (Just how many potatoes, onions, carrots, etc. can one person eat in a week?) and I have always loved the chance to get the Artisanal breads that are donated. Thank you for helping me extend my weekly food budget and especially for the bounty of produce both summer and winter.

“I am indeed grateful to Molly Rodriguez who first introduced me to the pantry when she dropped off the original set of pantry fliers at [withheld] so many moons ago. Belated birthday wishes to her, and thank [Molly] for all of the work done in the past and even now behind the scenes in retirement.” – [Name Withheld]

***

Special Holiday shout-outs to:


– Kathy Dean, Susan DeGeorge and Robin Larkins who made the Kids Bag of Treats that were distributed at the pantry to all the children at our distribution last Wednesday before Christmas.


– Teen volunteers Devin, Holden, Daisy, Henry and Ryan who gave up the Wednesday morning of their week-long school break to labor non-stop from start to finish this week when there was much to be done and fewer hands to do it. We can’t thank them enough.

***

On the last Wednesday of 2021, we served a total of 74 families, totaling 211 people, more than we expected to see between Christmas and the New Year.

This week’s newsletter again written by our own Duke-of-all-trades Coffey.

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