July 19, 2018

Good morning, everybody – yesterday we served a total of 29 families, including 59 adults, 33 children and 11 seniors.

A couple of people responded to my description of the Feeding Westchester 5K, which will take place at Pace University in Pleasantville on Sunday, September 23 from 9:00 a.m. until noon.  We have about seven people on the team (several of us will be WALKING, not running), so it should be fun.  Anybody else?  Just let me know and you’ll be part of the team.  We have to come up with a name for our team, by the way.  Anybody have an idea?
Ardsley Methodist has opened a new thrift shop, which will be open on Thursdays from 10:00 to 2:00, and all the proceeds will go to their various missions – and they have many.  This will be run by the Ardsley Methodist Women’s Association, which is a very active and dedicated group.
And don’t forget Zion’s thrift shop, open on Thursdays and Saturdays (except August and half of September).
And don’t forget that Irvington Presbyterian will be having its giant attic sale soon.
So, there are plenty of ways to donate what you don’t need, and buy what you do need at a low cost – and help the local churches with their charitable efforts (including this pantry) as well.
Stop & Shop has given us permission to put a permanent bin so that people can buy something for the pantry while they’re shopping and leave it there.  We’ll be getting a sign made up shortly, so soon you should be seeing that container – and hopefully the generous people on this list will be donating food.  As has happened in previous summers, our shelves are bare right now, so we could use either monetary donations (by sending us a check or using the Pay Pal function on our website at www.dobbsferrypantry.org) or leaving shelf-stable food for us in the church kitchen.  There’s an anonymous angel who has been dropping off bags of dried black beans every week.  thank you so much, whoever you are!
I was able to pick up some volunteer appreciation cards at Volunteer New York, which is an organization we’ve been affiliated with for a couple of years.  With that card the volunteers can go to certain restaurants on a Wednesday night and they’ll get 15% off their bill.  I wish we could do more for our volunteers.  They are a wonderful, energetic, dedicated lot.  💕
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July 11, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 32 families, including 64 adults, 47 children and 12 seniors.

I told the clients about the two-day sale at the Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington, which takes place today and tomorrow and always has fantastic bargains.
I also told them about the Zion Episcopal Church’s twice-weekly thrift shop.  Many of our clients have shopped there, and they were glad to hear that for the month of July everything is 50% off, and you can fill a bag for $4.00 instead of $5.00.  This is in preparation for the shop to be closed during August and part of September.
Feeding Westchester is sponsoring a 5K run on Sunday, September 23 from 9:00 to 12:00, and we at the pantry are thinking of forming a team to run that Sunday (or walk).  The money goes to Feeding America, which is where we order most of our food for the pantry (in addition to food donations brought by generous donors), so it’s a worthwhile event.  Would anybody on this list like to participate in that 5K with us?  We would love to have a whole group of people.  I’m attaching the e-mail I got from Feeding Westchester (apparently Feeding Westchester considers me to be the team captain), and if anybody can go that day, please send me an e-mail or call me at the number below.
Today we had some leafy greens and multiple vegetables from the CSA, together with a harvest of lettuce, kale, chard and many herbs from our beautiful Roots and Wings garden.  Thanks to FABLE and our trusted friends at Roots and Wings for making sure our clients have plenty of fresh food.
Some representatives from the Pace Women’s Justice Center in White Plains will be visiting us to talk to our clients about the free services and legal advice they offer.  This means that we don’t just provide food for our clients.  We offer advice about other services they can use as well.


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June 28, 2018

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday in the morning we served a total of 27 families, including 50 adults, 41 children and 11 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 12 families with 28 adults, 23 children and 2 more seniors.  That brought us to a total of 39 families, 78 adults, 64 children and 13 seniors.  We averaged 31 families a week in June.  We were able to deliver food to three families who can’t get to the pantry.

We were visited yesterday by Troop 1634 and their leaders, Tess McDade and Michelle Wurf.  They brought Girl Scout cookies, which are a tremendous treat for our clients.  The girls and their leaders have visited us several times over the years, and we’re glad they’re still active as Girl Scouts.
In the afternoon I visited the Church of St. Joseph of Arimathea in Greenburgh.  The parishioners, helped by Barbara Brown, gathered some diapers and baby wipes for us.  Barbara knows that we always need diapers and wipes.  And I got a chance to see the church for the first time.  It’s magnificent!  Among other things, they have a marble altar.  Thank you, Barbara and the other parishioners.
We submitted a grant request to Feeding Westchester for fiscal year 2019.  The grant comes in the form of a credit for food ordered from Feeding Westchester.  Keep your fingers crossed – we need that credit, particularly now that we’ve started giving more of certain foods to larger families.  We’d like to do more of that.  Larger families need more food than smaller families do, but it means we need to buy more supplies, much of which comes from Feeding Westchester.
We’ll be closed this coming Wednesday, July 4.  Hope everybody has a great Independence Day, and hope the weather cooperates.


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June 13, 2018

Good afternoon, everyone – today we served a total of 23 families, including 41 adults, 37 children and 8 seniors.
This past Sunday we had some beautiful lettuce from the CSA, along with strawberries, pea shoots, collard greens, some herbs and some rutabaga.  Plus we get donations twice a week from Springhurst and the Middle and High Schools in Dobbs Ferry from their lunch program.  The unopened foods they leave behind used to be thrown out but are now collected and brought over to the pantry, where we give them out on Wednesdays.  Today we gave out bananas, apples, cheese sticks, yogurt and crackers.
There’s a couple who live in Ardsley who regularly, consistently deliver eggs and carrots to us.  This happened again last Sunday, only this time it was eggs and potatoes.  We’re always grateful for regular, reliable donations like these.
This afternoon I got a phone call from Ken Stahn at Ardsley Methodist.  Someone who was a member of the church passed away this week, and all of the food she left behind was gathered by Ken and some other members of the church and donated to us.  And beforehand they went through everything to make sure there was nothing that was already opened and nothing that had expired.  We really appreciate this effort so that we don’t have to do it ourselves.  And we always appreciate our friends at Ardsley Methodist, Zion Episcopal and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran.  They are our go-to people.
Volunteer Barbara M. has offered to help us come up with some innovative ideas for fundraising.  She’s always full of enthusiastic ideas, so let’s see what she comes up with.  Thank you, Barbara.  If anybody on this list has an idea for a way for us to raise funds or to encourage more people to donate food, diapers and other items to us, please let us know!
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June 7, 2018

Good afternoon, everyone – yesterday we served a total of 29 families, including 55 adults, 41 children and 12 seniors.

Tom and Andrew picked up our first CSA shares from FABLE this past Sunday, and we’re off to a flying start.  We’ll have two shares plus whatever is left over at the end of the pick-up period on Sunday mornings.  FABLE had seven different items of produce for us this week, and we’ll see how the products vary over the summer.
On top of that, from the Roots & Wings garden, Marc gave us broccoli and several different herbs.  Early on Wednesday morning we visited the garden and brought in spinach, sage, basil and mint.  And the summer is only beginning!
When we arrived on Wednesday morning there were six bags of food donated by the parishioners of Ardsley Methodist Church, delivered, as always, by Ken Stahn.  They bring food to us every month, which is immediately given out.
Then, as the pantry was in progress, Carol Seischab arrived, as she does every week, with two boxes of food from Zion Episcopal.  Carol never comes empty-handed, and she brings donations from both Zion Episcopal and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran.  Thanks to Carol for your dedication, and thanks to the congregants of both churches for keeping us in mind every week.
It’s even more important over the summer when children don’t get lunch at school.
Last week we also got our monthly delivery of diapers, sizes 4, 5 and 6, from a generous woman in Greenburgh who has the diapers automatically delivered to my house from Amazon.  She’s a young mother herself, so she knows how important those diapers are to a struggling family.  If anybody else would like to donate diapers we’ll be happy to receive them and give them out, especially the larger sizes.


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May 31, 2018

Good afternoon, everyone – good to be back, and thank you to all the volunteers who kept the pantry going while I was away.  We are an interchangeable group, so no one individual is indispensable.  That’s important because it means that no matter who’s there or not there on a given Wednesday, the clients are served just the same.

Yesterday in the morning we served a total of 21 families, including 46 adults, 29 children and 8 seniors.  Then in the evening we served 13 more families with 29 adults, 23 children and 1 senior, for a total of 34 families, 75 adults, 52 children and 9 seniors.  We averaged 27 families a week in May.
We’re looking forward to beginning the CSA (community-supported agriculture) this coming Sunday.  It will run until the fall, and we’ll have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit for our clients every week.  Roots and Wings has contracted with a new farm by the name of FABLE, located in Ossining.  There’s an actual farm close by in Ossining! Our clients have been happy with the produce we’ve had in other summers, so we’re optimistic that this will be another successful season.
Yesterday a young man from the League of Women Voters dropped by a few minutes before the pantry opened and interviewed Lyn and me about food insecurity in the Rivertowns.  He’ll be submitting a report to the League about what he’s learned, and he’ll send us a copy also.  It’s a very good thing that the League of Women Voters is focusing on this issue.  They’re a big, influential organization and they can help spread the word that there are families who need help in Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington and Greenburgh.
I received an e-mail from the Director of Outreach and Education at the Pace Women’s Justice Center, asking to meet with me to discuss sharing information about their services with our clients.  I responded back that it would be a very good thing to educate our clients about the services they offer – free of charge – to people who need legal assistance and advice on problems around partner abuse, elder abuse and other issues.  I’m looking forward to hearing from her to see how we can get this important news to our clients.  They’re opening a free walk-in clinic which will be a huge help to any of our clients who may need guidance and support in these areas.

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May 9, 2018

Good evening, everybody – today we served a total of 25 families with 51 adults, 39 children and 8 seniors.

While the pantry was in process, we were gifted with a donation of 32 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from Troop 2147 in Dobbs Ferry.  The cookies flew off the shelf like hotcakes.
One of our long-time volunteers, Barbara M., posted a request on Facebook for people to donate diapers to our pantry.  She got an enthusiastic response!  Many people came through with diapers and wipes for us, and a couple of people made PayPal donations to us on our website as well.  Thank you, Barbara.  And thank you for providing toiletries for the clients in honor of Mothers’ Day also, and for planning to do the same thing for Fathers’ Day.
The Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington is having its thrift sale Friday and Saturday of this week.  They’ll have some tremendous bargains.
Spring Community Partners is also having its free clothing boutique on Saturday morning.
And Saturday is the day when letter carriers in Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Irvington are collecting shelf-stable foods when they drop off the mail.  Hopefully everybody on this list who lives in those villages will put some food out.  But first, check the expiration date.  Our pantry will be the grateful recipient of whatever food is collected in Dobbs Ferry and deposited at the Post Office.

I’ll be away for the next two weeks.  I was away for a couple of weeks in April and the pantry ran like clockwork.  We’ve got a team of volunteers who never give up and who never get overwhelmed.  A heartfelt thank you to all of you.❤
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May 2, 2018

Good evening, everybody – Today we served a total of 23 families, including 36 adults, 29 children and 12 seniors.

If you were at Stop & Shop on Saturday, you know that we were there all day asking customers to buy some food for the pantry and donate it to us as they were leaving.  We ended up with 2,700 pounds of food, much of which has either already been given out today, is neatly stacked on our shelves or is neatly stacked in our various storage areas.  The people who shop at Stop & Shop are a caring and concerned bunch, and our clients appreciate that.  A particular shout-out to our volunteers, who took turns all day handing out lists of the foods we need and encouraging people to donate.  People gave cash also, which we appreciate just as much.
The next food drive we’re looking forward to is the mail carriers’ food drive, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 12.  I don’t know if it takes place in other villages, but it definitely happens in Dobbs Ferry, and the Post Office has told us we can have whatever shelf-stable foods the letter carriers bring back from their routes on that day.  If you live in Dobbs, please remember to put some shelf-stable food into a bag and leave it for your mail carrier on that day.  Please be kind and make sure that the food hasn’t expired.  Sometimes people take food off their shelves and donate it without realizing that it expired a long time ago.  Then we at the pantry end up having to throw it out.
Then at the end of May or early June the Springhurst Kids Can campaign will be providing us with food brought in by the fifth and sixth graders.
Saturday’s food drive, the letter carriers’ collection and the Kids Can campaign are coming at an important time for us, because donations drop off in the summer, when we need food just as much.  So we really welcome the efforts these people have made to provide us with food for our clients at this time.  And please, don’t forget us over the summer.  The clients’ children don’t even get their free meals at school during the summer, so the food they get at the pantry is even more important.
See everybody at the South Church gala this Saturday!
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April 26, 2018

Good morning, everyone.  My husband is slowly on the mend from his surgery, and I was able to be at the pantry yesterday evening.  In the morning the volunteers served a total of 22 families, including 37 adults, 19 children and 9 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 11 families with 30 adults and 24 children.  This brought us to a total of 33 families, 67 adults, 43 children and  9 seniors.  We averaged 28 families a week in April.

I hope everyone on this list is planning to do some shopping at Stop & Shop this Saturday.  It’s the big food drive sponsored by Feeding Westchester and NBC/Telemundo.  It’s happening at Stop & Shop stores all over Westchester, and we at the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry are staffing the drive here in town, which means we get to keep whatever food is donated.  And WE NEED FOOD!  So please come, buy something and drop it into the bin.  Right now we especially need tuna, peanut butter, dried or canned black beans and spaghetti or linguine.  We’ll be there all day, so come and say hello!
South Presbyterian Church is having a huge gala on Saturday evening, May 5 entitled “We Are All Connected”.  It’s a musical gala and silent auction with delicious food prepared by our world-renowned chefs Peter and Alex.  It will feature a Colombian group by the name of Pablo Mayor & Folklore Urbano, as well as flamenco dancers and on and on and on.  And if you don’t want to eat you can come for the show and dessert.  To order tickets call Linda Jo Platt at 914-693-0299 or send her an email at ljberrypl@aol.com.
A special shout-out to our supporters at Springhurst School.  They’re doing a Kids Can drive for us during the month of May.  This time the fifth and sixth graders and their families will be providing the food for us.  This is good timing because our clients can’t count on school lunches for their children in the summer, and we need to have plenty of food for them once school ends.  Thanks especially to Nola Kende Long for organizing these drives for us this year.
Robin Larkins and the other volunteers at Spring Community Partners are hard at work getting ready for their twice-yearly clothing boutique, where families who are struggling to feed and dress their children can find some clothing for them to wear this summer.  They do it every year in November and May, and every volunteer deserves a hug, because it’s a lot of work.  They collect clothing all year long, and it’s all eagerly taken by the needy families within a few hours.
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April 4, 2018

Good evening, everybody – This morning we served a total of 24 families, including 39 adults, 21 children and 15 seniors.  It’s a relief to be back in our weekly routine.

This coming Sunday, April 8 there’s a concert to benefit the Midnight Run at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 59 Main Street in Elmsford at 3:00.  General admission is $20 and $7.50 for students.  It’s Christian rock, sung in Spanish by a group called Ministerios Bethania.  It’s supposed to be very uplifting, which we can all use about now.  They’re also collecting household cleaning supplies for the Our Lady of Mount Carmel food pantry.
We’re still working on computerizing our sign-in sheet so that we can join the 21st century.  Benny has put it on our tablet and it’s color-coded to match the number of people in each client’s family.  We’ve been giving out extra pasta and beans depending on how many people there are in a family.  This is the way most other pantries do it, and it seems equitable.  The clients are still getting used to the idea, but I think it will work out.  We’ll see which foods we end up regularly giving out as we see how it affects our budget.
There’s a kind woman who consistently sends us diapers and baby wipes every month.  She keeps in touch with me to see which sizes we need.  This past week she sent us more baby wipes (we give them out to people who don’t have babies also) and diapers in sizes 2, 4, 5 and 6.  This has made such a difference since our clients who have babies are always asking for diapers because they’re so expensive.
We got our first e-mail of the season from Roots & Wings, talking about their weekly gardening sessions on Saturday mornings in the community garden behind South Church.  It’s encouraging that gardening can actually begin.  If anybody wants to know more about the garden, please let me know.  Roots & Wings is eager to share their information.
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