Some scary statistics have been coming our way recently. Food prices are up 15% since March 2020. A recent survey of Feeding Westchester clients found that for 66% of them, their local food pantry was their primary source of food. In Westchester, the second wealthiest county in New York, 1 in every 5 children lacks reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Let that sink in.
And as you might expect, we have been seeing an increase in the number of families coming to us in need. In April we gave out Stop & Shop cards (in varying amounts depending on family size) to each family because with school closed for the spring break, those children wouldn’t be getting free lunches at school. Those gift cards are paid for out of our budget.
In addition to our partnerships with Feeding Westchester and community donations, we are very proud of our food recovery program. Each week we send volunteers to Mom’s Organic Market, New York Bagel Authority, Panera Bread, Stop & Shop, and the Shop in Ardsley, to pick up food items that would otherwise be thrown away – breads and bagels that are left at the end of the day, dairy and other perishable items that only have a day or two left before their expiration date. We rescue carloads of food that would otherwise be tossed in the dumpsters and get it to those who need and appreciate it. If you have an idea of a business from whom we could rescue surplus foods on Monday or Tuesday evenings, to be given out at our Wednesday pantry, please let us know. Even better would be if you could pick up that food and bring it to us!
Every month without fail, the Ardsley Methodist Church holds food drives for us and we are so very grateful. Ken delivers a car full each month of non-perishable items and always has an envelope of checks and Stop & Shop cards from his congregation. Thank you, Ardsley Methodist!
Calling all teens looking to accrue karma points over the summer (or just volunteer hours for school/sports/church)! We love having teens help us on Wednesday mornings, when they are not in school. If you are interested, please reach out to Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org Not available on Wednesdays but still need/want volunteer hours? Consider hosting a food drive or diaper drive and we can sign off on several hours for you.
A special shout out to all of our monthly donors – knowing that we can count on your recurring donations is so important to us in our planning. If you’re not already signed up, please consider even a monthly $10 or $20 donation through PayPal.
This month’s newsletter was written by Gretchen Skaggs who can be found any given Wednesday morning, running around the lawn of South Church like a chicken with her head cut off.