July 10, 2019 – beautiful poster created by Springhurst fourth-graders explaining all about the pantry and encouraging people to help. Thanks kids!

springhurst pantry poster

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July 10, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 30 families with 51 adults, 37 children and 15 seniors, making up a total of 103 people served.

          The granddaughter of one of our clients is not growing properly.  She’s tiny for her age, and is under a doctor’s care.  We’ve made up our minds that as long as we can afford it we’ll provide her with a supply of Pediasure until her granddaughter is doing better.  Sometimes food is not enough.
          I was contacted by a Mercy College student who wants to help in the community.  He’s in an internship program during the week, so he can’t help us at the pantry, but, since he’s young and strong, he’ll help us this coming Sunday at the CSA.  He’ll help carry the fruits and vegetables from the South Church parking lot up to the kitchen, and will then help to put it away.  He’ll be a big help to us, and we’ll help him with his goal of volunteering in the community.  We’ve always been able to count on one of our strong volunteers on Sundays, but he isn’t available now, so this student’s call came at just the right time.
           I’ve mentioned before that our pantry was studied by a group of Springhurst fourth-graders.  The whole class was studying about volunteerism in the community, and we were lucky enough to have a group choose us.  They created a beautiful poster with photos of the pantry, a list of what to donate, facts about the pantry, and even a chart of how many people were served in 2018.  They’re a bright and talented bunch of kids with great teachers!  Somebody from Springhurst brought the poster to the pantry this week, and we proudly displayed it for our clients to see.  We’ll be showing it throughout the summer to whomever wants to see it, and I took a photo of it so that I can post it on the website.  Visit the website at www.dobbsferrypantry.org and you’ll see it for yourself!
          This year we’ve been serving three families who are unable to get to the pantry for one reason or another   Plus we also served another recent immigrant family until they could get established in the community.  We’re happy to do this, and we’re always alert for someone else who needs food but can’t get to us.  We’ll help them as long as they need us.

 

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July 3, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served 25 families, including 53 adults, 31 children and 10 seniors.  We served a total of 94 people today.

          This coming September there will be another 5K race sponsored by Feeding Westchester.   Last September a number of us at the pantry participated, including me, and we ended up earning an award for fundraising.  So far three of us have signed up again this year, and I’m hoping several more will join in.  The people on this list need to sponsor us so that we can earn another award.  You’ll hear more about it from me as we get closer to September.
          We heard from Susan Strangio of Cabrini of Westchester today.  They’re planning to do a food drive for us among the employees in honor of Mother Cabrini’s birthday on July 15.  This makes us at the pantry very happy because not many food drives take place during the summer, and our clients continue to need food.  In fact, it’s more important during the summer because the children don’t even get their meals at school.  So, we really appreciate this effort by Cabrini.  I hope the people on this list remember us, too, both financially and with food donations.  Remember, there’s a PayPal function on our website (www.dobbsferrypantry.org) and you can leave food and diapers for us in the South Church kitchen at any time.  Or visit us on a Wednesday morning between 10:00 and noon so we can see you and show you around.
          I saw a Mayor’s Newsletter on Facebook that said that Westchester County has decided to designate specific Town Days at Playland.  Dobbs Ferry’s Town Day in July 9, this coming Tuesday.  I remember there used to be a special Town Day at our local amusement park when I was a child and it was a lot of fun.  I can’t make it that day, but I hope a lot of people from Dobbs Ferry go that day.  Let’s hope it turns out to be a yearly thing.
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July 1, 2019

Good afternoon, everyone – last Wednesday in the morning we served 35 families with 70 adults, 52 children and 18 seniors.  Then, since it was the last Wednesday of the month, in the evening we served another 6 families with 8 adults, 5 children and 3 seniors.  This brought us to a total of 46 families, including 78 adults, 57 children and 21 seniors.  We served 156 people on Wednesday.  For the month of June we averaged 39 families and 132 people per week.

          Early in June we were visited by a group of fourth-graders from Springhurst who were studying how volunteers can help a community.  Groups of students studied either the police department, the fire department, Village Hall, Cabrini Nursing Home or our pantry.  Last Monday they did a presentation showing everything they had learned, and I was able to attend.  They had created posters for each group’s study project, and the poster they created for the pantry was beautiful.  Their teacher, Ms. Giuliano, said she and the students would drop it off at the pantry when they are finished with it, so maybe that will happen some time over the summer.  I was amazed at the intelligent and sensitive questions the children asked us volunteers while they were visiting.  They are a concerned and caring group, and they’ve learned a lot about helping people.
          Our pantry is lucky to be affiliated with Feeding Westchester, which is an agency which oversees many of the pantries and soup kitchens throughout Westchester.  Feeding Westchester receives donations from huge organizations like United Way, etc., and they use those donations to help our pantries.  Recently they were able to provide us with an entire pallet of meat for our clients, free of charge.  We’ll be able to supply our clients with meat for several weeks thanks to the largess of whoever it was who had extra meat and found a way to help the community at large.

 

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June 19, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served 31 families with 50 adults, 41 children and 17 seniors.  We served a total of 108 people today.

          Between the CSA and the Roots & Wings garden, our pantry was overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables this morning.  And everything was gone by the time we closed up.  In the garden, Marc harvested kale, lettuce, cilantro and snap peas.  And the summer is only beginning!
          We received a generous check from the Share Your Wish organization.  This is a group based in Irvington that encourages children who are having a birthday party or some other event to ask their guests to bring money for a charity instead of a gift.  When I heard about the group I imagined that children would never be willing to give up their gifts, but we’ve received several checks from Share Your Wish, which means that children were in fact willing to ask their friends to help others.  Share Your Wish maintains an entire list of charities that a child could choose, and we’re proud to be on that list.
          For the last couple of years we’ve represented the Pantry at the community table at the Irvington Farmers’ Market on a given Sunday.  We expected the shoppers to share what they bought with us, but in fact they’ve given us cash, and we’re happy to accept it.  It’s a wonderful farmers’ market, with live music and activities for the kids.  We’ll be there again this year, on August 4.  Hope to see some of the people on this list there.

 

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June 12, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served 39 families, including 70 adults, 55 children and 19 seniors.  We served a total of 144 people today.

          This past Sunday was our first CSA of the season, and we’re off to a great start.  We were able to offer the clients snap peas, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, rhubarb, asparagus, beets, apples and sunflower shoots.  We provided a pile of rhubarb recipes, which the clients happily accepted.
          On top of that Marc harvested in the garden early this morning and brought in beautiful lettuce, kale and herbs, including lemon verbena.  In the past we’ve had the most delicious tomatoes from the garden, and Marc says they’re coming along this year also.
          Yesterday we were visited by a group of fourth-graders from Springhurst School.  They had a lot of good questions about how a food pantry works, and they brought food for our shelves as well.  The class is studying how volunteerism helps a community, and they divided into groups studying the volunteer firefighters, the ambulance corps, Cabrini of Westchester, Dobbs Ferry Village Hall and our pantry.  We’re happy to have been included, and I’m sure the children will bring information home to their parents about our pantry.
          Thanks also to Westchester Milk, Ardsley United Methodist Church, Zion Episcopal and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran.  They all have helped us on a regular, consistent basis for years, without even being asked.  what more could we ask for?  This is what keeps us going.
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Springhurst fourth-grade teachers KC Sokolski, Mariana Rudelic and Joelle Mitchell with food donated by students who are studying volunteerism in Dobbs Ferry. Thanks for helping the Pantry, kids!

Springhurst fourth grade teachers KC Sokolski, Mariana Rudelic and Joelle Mitchell with food donated by Springhurst fourth graders. Thanks for helping the Pantry, kids!

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June 5, 2019

Good afternoon, everyone – today we served 38 families, including 67 adults, 38 children and 15 seniors, for a total of 120 people.  We signed up three new clients today, two from Greenburgh and one from here in Dobbs Ferry.

          We’re excited that the CSA will be starting this coming Sunday.  From now on until the fall we’ll have fresh produce, both from the CSA and from the Roots and Wings garden.  In fact, this morning we already were able to offer lettuce, kale and several herbs from the garden.  We’re lucky that Marc volunteers with us every Wednesday, manages the Roots and Wings garden and will be signing people in at the CSA every Sunday as well.
          This coming Tuesday will be the day we’ll be visited by Ms. Giuliano’s fourth-grade class from Springhurst.  They’ll learn how a food pantry works, and they’ll interview a couple of volunteers in order to learn what it means to be a volunteer and how we help the community.  The children will be bringing food for us as well.  Springhurst is a very community-minded school.
          And this coming Wednesday South Church will be hosting a luncheon for clergy and others from the community to discuss the campaign to establish a sanctuary apartment in the church so that immigrant families can find safety, refuge and solidarity while they fight their cases in court.  If anybody on this list would like to attend that luncheon on June 12 at 12:30 p.m. you can RSVP to Kay O’Keefe of South Church at 914-382-6363 or ctbok322@gmail.com.
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May 30, 2019

Good evening, everybody – yesterday we served 31 families during the day, including 60 adults, 45 children and 13 seniors.  Then at night, despite the pouring rain, we served another 9 families with 19 adults, 20 children and 2 seniors.  That brought us to a total of 40 families including 79 adults, 65 children and 15 seniors.  We served 158 people yesterday.  For the month of May we averaged 41 families a week and 146 people a week.

          Our CSA will begin on June 9.  We’ll be getting two shares a week, plus whatever leftovers the farmer can let us have.  This has been a big success for us in other years, and we’re looking forward to another summer of fresh fruits and vegetables from both the CSA and the Roots & Wings garden.  We’re already starting to receive some herbs and early kale from the garden.  Thanks to all the Roots & Wings volunteers, who set aside a section of the garden for the pantry.  On Wednesday mornings we go out and harvest whatever the garden has to offer that week and hand it right over to the clients.
           We received our last Kids Can collection of food from Springhurst.  We received a huge amount of food, as we always do from Springhurst, and a lot of it has been given out already.  This year we’ve been serving more people, and we have three families who can’t come to the pantry but to whom we deliver food.  One of our volunteers delivers Ensure to a woman who, due to illness, can’t eat a lot of our foods.  He’s a very kind person who provides the Ensure out of his pocket.  That’s what volunteering is all about – do what you can whenever you can.
          I got a charming e-mail from a fourth-grade teacher at Springhurst.  She said her class is studying “how do volunteers help our community?”, and they’ve studied our website!  She said the students would like to visit the pantry and see how we do things.  I wrote back and said we’d be glad to meet with the students.  We have to find a day and time that works for everybody, and Benny and I, and maybe a couple of other volunteers, will show them around.  I suggested that each student also bring some shelf-stable food with them so that they can stock the pantry.  And together we’ll check the foods to be sure they haven’t expired.  That way they can teach their parents the importance of checking expiration dates.

 

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May 22, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 45 families, including 77 adults, 54 children and 24 seniors, for a total of 155 people.

          This past Saturday was the Spring Community Partners’ Spring children’s clothing boutique at South Church.  The members of Spring Community Partners collect clothing all year in order to offer these free boutiques twice a year, and they’re well-attended.  It takes hours the day before to arrange all the clothing according to size, etc., and the next morning the clothes disappear within an hour or so.  It’s a very merry event, and everybody goes home happy, including the exhausted parents and other members.  Spouses and children help out with putting the boutique together as well.  They’ve been doing these boutiques for years, so the members operate like a well-oiled machine.
          Our CSA starts on June 9!  We ordered two shares, so we should have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables every week for our clients until the fall.  And we’re already receiving herbs from the Roots & Wings community garden behind the church.  Plus today Marc brought us tiny kale as well.
          We’re aware that more and more stores and other places are getting rid of plastic bags.  In order to do our part to help the environment, we’ve decided that, beginning July 1, we’ll stop offering plastic bags for our clients to take food home.  Instead, we’ll invest in reusable tote bags from Trader Joe’s or someplace.  We give out reusable tote bags during holiday seasons anyway, so this will enable our clients to respect the environment by using only reusable bags for their food.
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