Weatherwise, it was a wildly wicked Winter! Not much snow, but erratic temperatures, ferocious ice and wind storms, and the odd deluge of rain had an impact on both the first quarter and the month of March. Other factors affecting our results were the continuing Covid-19 epidemic (Up? Down? Over? Lurking?), and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, both of which sent already high energy prices and inflation into hyperdrive. And when low income goes lower, lines get longer. We again are seeing a rise in visitors to the Pantry and April may be another of those inflection points.
The little lady shown below is Lena (7), with her younger brother Ellis (5). They heard about the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry and wanted to help us. So they organized their own food drive, distributing notices to all their neighbors. It went very well.
Lena, her mother Joanna, and her grandmother Joan arrived at the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry on Wednesday with a car stuffed with donations along with other items supplied by Joanna and Joan. The Pantry was in full swing, but volunteers came running from all directions to help them. The trio was then given a tour showing them how we do what we do with donations and how we serve our neighbors in need, which, after all, was exactly what Lena and Ellis set out to do.
David, of Subway Sandwiches in Tuckahoe, delivers the goods to volunteers Bijal Das, Kristy Fitzgerald and Enzina Zaino. Subway is providing 100 lunches to the Pantry each week as part of the state’s Restaurant Resiliency Program.
Volunteer Jessica Chaput arrives from Woodlands Community Temple in Greenburgh with Hamantaschen (huh-min-tah-shun), a triangular pastry tradition for Purim, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
On one of the coldest days in March, sisters Chloe and Kaylie Runge drop off results of ongoing diaper drives by Girl Scout Troops 1682 and 1690.
Our good friend and neighbor Gordon, familiar to anyone who patronizes the Hilltop Thrift Shop at Zion Episcopal Church on Cedar Street, hands over the last of a carload of donations, most of which came from a single donor eager to support the Pantry.
Also, our deepest gratitude to the regular weekly and monthly food donors: Scarsdale Women’s Club, Ardsley United Methodists, Ed & Diane Steinberg, Harold Brown, Stop ‘n Shop, Panera Bread, The Shop in Ardsley, New York Bagel Authority in Dobbs, and Mom’s Organic Market.
Incentive Systems: Ken Stahn of Ardsley United Methodist Church tells of a teacher who told her sixth-grade students at St. Francis of Assisi they wouldn’t have any weekend homework if the class collected non-perishable food and dropped it off at the March 19th AUM food drive for the DF Food Pantry. The Pantry’s Monday morning Deliveries Team is starting to question how long the suspension on Ken’s SUV will last.
HELP! Last December we issued urgent appeals for donations of diapers and also begged for Fresh Direct bags. Well, the response was overwhelming and we are now knee-deep in FD bags and, in a manner of speaking, our diapers runneth over. So, we’d like to dial back on the bags until further notice, and ask that you focus diaper donations on sizes 4 and 6 (we have plenty of 5s). Seems the pandemic put the brakes on the birth rate in our service area, so there just isn’t that much of a demand right now for smaller sizes. Wipes and pull-ups are always welcome.
A Reminder About Shelf-Stable Food Donations: We welcome the care and concern our donors demonstrate each week, and it’s good practice on our part to repeat periodically certain safety guidelines for donations left at our donation box to the right of the South Presbyterian Church annex entrance. Please check expiration dates. Any foods in glass containers present a breakage risk. We cannot accept food or personal care items that have been opened or any prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs, or anything homemade. We also don’t distribute religious publications or pamphlets.
Happy Spring, all!
This month’s Pantry newsletter written by Dobbs Ferry’s very own Duke Coffey, who can be found most days recently in the depths of the church’s basement, repairing and rebuilding 200 year-old church pews.