July 7, 2021

July 7, 2021

“I’m back in the line again,” says a pantry client after standing in line for a bag of produce and a box of packaged food, then moving on to the breakfast table where she picks up cereal and milk, giving us a moment to catch up. She recently lost her job and returned to the pantry for help, but she wished she didn’t have to be here.

The following week a client waits in line wearing a T-shirt that says, “I CAN WIN!” As I hand her a box of Cheerios, I see that her eyes tell a different story, one that doubts whether she really can win at a time when roughly 40 million Americans are officially below the poverty line while millions of people with income above that line struggle to pay for housing, food, and other essentials.

The pantry opens at 10 a.m., but the line of people needing food starts forming around 9 a.m. Volunteers hustle to display food, pack dairy products on ice, and more.

More than Just Numbers

Every week our pantry typically helps up to 150 families—around 600 people.

“If you talk about the suburbs on the whole, without distinguishing the various types of suburbs, suburban poverty is quite prevalent,” says Patrick Cooney, assistant director of policy impact at the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions.

Cooney points out that a researcher at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, found that in suburbs that are single-family neighborhoods (where more than 90 percent of the homes in a neighborhood are single-family) the poverty rate is 6 percent. Surprising, perhaps, yet that’s less than half the poverty rate for the country as a whole.

“In more affluent areas, it’s likely far less,” says Cooney. “This is largely a result of exclusionary zoning laws, which prevent different housing types from being built in affluent areas.”

Want to Help?

Our pantry relies on donations of money and food to help our neighbors. Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings regularly supports the pantry and this week they donated avocados for all of our families; Panera Bread on Central Avenue in Scarsdale now donates bread and sweet rolls. Our clients were thrilled to receive this food.  

Diapers are expensive, which is why some of our clients desperately need them for their children (especially size 4, 5 and 6). This week, Woodlands Community Temple’s Natalie Werner delivered pull-ups, and Nat Graham also donated diapers. Many thanks!

If you’d like to help, leave donations of food (no glass containers, please) and diapers in the bin outside the church doors, and for larger donations contact us at dobbsferrypantry@gmail.com.

Our wish list includes canned tuna, crunchy peanut butter, rice, and low-sugar cereals such as Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, corn flakes, Special K, and oatmeal.

Plain, Pumpernickel, or Poppy? The Shop in Ardsley now donates bagels to the pantry on a regular basis. Our clients thank you.

Kimberly Janeway, a pantry volunteer, wrote this week’s newsletter and provided the photos.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 30, 2021

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers….”

Oh, right, that’s the postal service. (Actually, it seems the USPS doesn’t have an official motto, but that’s a topic for another day.) But I think the words also apply to the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry, especially today. Undaunted by the 102.6-degree heat, this morning’s volunteers served 150 households – 547 people – all of them seemingly in good spirits despite the temperature. To my amazement, I discovered that overseeing the Freebies table for two hours wasn’t a problem under the protection of a canopy. Then during evening hours, we served another 16 families. Six new families registered today, which tells us that the need persists in the Rivertowns. In all, it was another record-setting day in which we helped 333 adults, 214 children, and 56 seniors.

New this week was a bounty of breads, rolls, and pastries that Vera picked up over two nights from Panera Bread in Scarsdale. We are thrilled by the promise of a recurring donation from them. Today’s donations from MOM’S Organic Market included some beat-the-heat treats like dark chocolate tarts and cheddar jalapeño spread. Stop & Shop customers provided enough cereal to feed a small army. In our effort to expand our offerings and give people more choices, we continue to reach out to local businesses who may have leftovers to direct our way.

We continue to see new faces on Tuesday evenings when we pack boxes of shelf-stable goods and bags of produce for distribution the next day. Last night Michelle Peluso brought four Irvington neighbors to join the festivities. Their elbow grease was especially welcome as we prepared for the expected high attendance at the last pantry of the month, which is when we give out Stop & Shop gift cards.

Michelle Peluso and her Irvington neighbors pack boxes.

Not everyone takes the box of shelf-stable products but absolutely everybody wants an assortment of fresh produce. You can see why.

This week’s cornucopia

Nothing fazes our teen volunteers, including those shown here, not even assembling a shopping cart for the first time. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it does evoke Dad trying to put together toys on Christmas Eve. In the background, notice a finished product being put to good use.

Not exactly rocket science but assembling a shopping cart for the first time does present challenges.

That’s it for our update for this week. Y’all stay safe and cool!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 23, 2021

Greetings from the Food Pantry!

On this most beautiful day, our wonderful volunteers served 140 households totaling 502 individuals. This is a bit of an increase, and we are still seeing additional families registering with the pantry on a weekly basis.

Over the weekend, Ardsley Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts brought us two carloads of goods, several donation checks and gift cards.  The church continues to faithfully give to our pantry on a regular basis.  Although it’s a small congregation, they maximize their giving capacity beautifully. They brilliantly partnered with the Boy Scouts to do a food drive.  Check out this quick video of young gentlemen doing community service!

A shout out goes to Sara Sellitti who heads up the Springhurst Gardens for her contributing fresh greens and ensuring we benefit from surplus school lunches.

Sara Selitti and Robin Larkins

Not only do we want to nourish the bodies of our neighbors, but also their minds. We offer children’s books and some Spanish books for adult readers.

Co-Director Gretchen Skaggs’s daughter Ella and her friends Veronica and Molly

Fresh produce is one of the most important staples we offer, and most is purchased by the pantry.  But the Temple Beth Shalom has been providing one vegetable every week that will go in 150 bags for months now. Today it was avocados – thank you to Cantor Robin Joseph and the entire congregation!

We pride ourselves in trying to give our neighbors choice wherever possible. Here is a table of goods that they can pick from and our volunteers take note of what they really enjoy so that we can order more products to their liking in the future.

Volunteers Kimberly Janeway, Jean Lucasey and Bill Constant
Kimberly welcomes our guests each week

All of our volunteers bring their energy and goodwill to the pantry and are  respectful of honoring our neighbors in every interaction.  But one young man, Adam Galland, a high school senior, really shined today.  He impressed everyone with his perfect manners, helpfulness with our neighbors and the fact that he is bilingual really made a difference. It is so gratifying to see the next generation picking up the mantle of kindness.

Mary Anne Griggs, Adam Galland, Enzina Zaino

I leave you with one individual’s story.  This gentleman came to this country from Iran hoping to start a business in the States.  The timing could not have been worse for him, because the pandemic hit and his business dissolved.  He came to the pantry starting last October and he is now able to get clearance to return to his country. He was very gracious and thanked us profusely for helping him survive in a foreign country.  He will be returning to Iran with very positive feelings about the US, all due to how he was treated at the Pantry.  Goodwill and kindness can go very far.

Most needed items this week: Fresh produce, size 6 diapers and baby wipes, adult diapers

This week’s newsletter written by Co-Director, Vera Halpenny, who keeps our smallest clients in diapers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 16, 2021

On this gorgeous, spring-like Wednesday we served 121 families which represents 418 people. This was fewer than we were expecting and we all hope that this is the start of a downward trend. However, we will stay prepared for any and all who come to us in need.

Each week, Temple Beth Shalom chooses one fresh produce item and then donates enough of it to feed all of our families. This week’s bounty was 130 bags of juicy grapes to be included in our produce bags. We are also starting to receive tasty donations from local community gardens including that of Springhurst Elementary School. If your community (or personal!) garden is harvesting more than you can handle, please consider dropping off your excess to us on Tuesday evenings at the church.

Our clients were treated to a delicious, organic meal today prepared by The Cookery and generously sponsored by Steve Tilly of Dobbs Ferry. We can’t tell you what a gift it is for our clients to be able to enjoy a restaurant quality meal.

It’s never too early to start teaching about giving back! These local philanthropists held food drives in their neighborhoods and delivered a car full of food and diapers to the Pantry. We gave them a tour of our set up and talked about the importance of supporting each other because you never know when it might be your turn to stand in line for free food.

Items most needed: size 6 diapers, low-sugar cereal, tuna, baby wipes, low-sodium soup.

This week’s newsletter was written by Pantry Co-Director Gretchen Skaggs and photos were provided by Ellen Crane Photography.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 9, 2021

It feels as if it’s nearly 90 degrees, if you consider the humidity, yet the number of people standing in line for food keeps growing this Wednesday morning. The line includes women and children, from newborns and shy toddlers to teens who help their mother carry the food to the car or to home. It’s crucial that pregnant women eat nutrient-dense foods, of course, and they too have stood in this line.  

In fact, more women seek help from the pantry than men, and lately 80 percent of our clients are female. 

That doesn’t surprise Irwin Garfinkel, co-director of the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University. “Single mothers are more likely to be poor and economically insecure than the fathers of their children or married mothers and fathers,” he says. 

Another reason, adds Garfinkel, is that among poor and economically insecure parents, mothers are more likely than fathers to seek help from the government and voluntary agencies and groups, including food pantries. Why? These women are less deterred than men by the shame that accompanies asking for help.

Welcome! Volunteers prepared these bags of fresh produce, the first stop for pantry clients.

We Need Your Help 

For some, the pandemic may feel as if it’s over, or nearly over, with signs of life returning to normal, but our clients still struggle. This week we helped 130 families, or 469 people, and some weeks we provide food for as many as 160 families. The number of people who rely on food from our pantry isn’t dropping, yet donations are. 

To help our neighbors get the food they need, consider donating money (use this link) or Stop & Shop gift cards. 

We also welcome donations of unopened packaged food that hasn’t expired. You can leave it in the bin outside the church doors, and for bigger donations contact us at dobbsferrypantry@gmail.com. The items we need most are canned protein—tuna, salmon, and chicken—crunchy peanut butter, soup, rice, both brown and white, and low-sugar cereals such as Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, corn flakes, Special K, and oatmeal. We always need diapers for our youngest clients, especially size 5 and 6. 

It Takes a Village 

Our volunteer staff goes all in every Wednesday morning. But to help feed the hundreds who depend on the pantry each week, Girl Scouts, high school students, civic organizations, and members of churches and synagogues buy and collect food then haul it to the South Presbyterian Church where the pantry is housed. This week we thank The Scarsdale Woman’s Club for their generosity, once again. 

If you’re thinking about organizing a food drive, keep in mind these tips:

Shoot us an email. We’re at dobbsferrypantry@gmail.com. Tell us when your food drive is and we’ll post the info on our site and we’ll work out a day and time for your group to drop off the food at the pantry. 

Think healthy. We aim to offer our clients healthy foods and foods that they like. We appreciate donations of beans, canned or dried, canned protein like tuna, low-sugar cereal, peanut butter, jelly, rice (brown and white), pasta, spaghetti sauce, low-sodium soups, nuts, granola bars, and cooking oil. 

• Note the no-nos. Please do not donate expired food, packaged food that’s been opened, food in glass containers, and home-baked items. 

• Consider donating household staples. Toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and dish detergent are necessities, and your donation helps our clients stretch their food budget further. 

Teens regularly volunteer at our pantry, adding energy and bringing their much-needed super powers, helping us to set up the pantry outdoors each week.

This week’s newsletter written by Kimberly Janeway, Pantry volunteer who lovingly writes WELCOME! in chalk on the sidewalk each week.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 1, 2021

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
   “To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
   Of cabbages—and kings …”

“The Walrus and the Carpenter”

By Lewis Carol

But let’s begin instead with a tale of Beans and Bagels.

The food we distribute to our clients comes to our doors in two flavors: Fixed Inventory, things in boxes or sacks that we obtain from Feeding Westchester and other suppliers; and Variable Inventory, donations dropped off by caring individuals, thoughtful families, and community organizations and retail groceries that run food drives for the Pantry’s benefit.  

Fixed Inventory is carefully managed by our Inventory Team of Ellen Klein, and Suzanna and Roma Halatyn. The Variable Inventory, managed by Pantry veteran Eileen Quinlan, is unpredictable.  We are grateful for all that we receive and have a new system for ensuring its efficient distribution to our clients.

But once in a great while the unexpected crops up with the “Fixed” inventory. 

Because of the Memorial Day weekend, Ellen, Suze and Roma went to Feeding Westchester HQ to pick up the contents of the dry food pallet on offer Tuesday morning.  When they realized we had an excess of canned black beans, Roma reached out to Youth Mission of Life Food Pantry in White Plains, where Stella and her son PJ accepted our extra cases.

They kindly offered their excess bagels (130!) in exchange and thanks to Roma’s food network connections the community barter system benefited everyone! 

* * *

Tuesday Boxing Comes to Fellowship Hall!

Anyone buying lots of canned food knows by experience not to put too much of it in a paper bag.

To provide clients with a week’s worth of shelf-stable food begins with a box: strong, right-sized and complete with a handle.  Among the invaluable life skills Pantry volunteers acquire is how to properly assemble, tape and stack boxes clients can get home without the bottom falling out.  

Ellen Klein leads Tuesday Night box bandits Susan Ginsberg, Barry Siegel and Donna Assumma in box assembly.  Others fill the boxes while still others close, affix handles and move the boxes.  
Volunteers Bijal Das, Kristy Fitzgerald and Donna Assumma (L-R) cover the arc of nutrition with a mix of frozen meat from Feeding Westchester and organic dairy products from Mom’s Organic Grocery.

*   *   *

My name (in this state anyway) is Duke Coffey.  I’m the guy with the tool box and the mop.  I want to close this blog posting by describing the incredible bench strength we have within the Food Pantry by citing two people who exemplify why our motto is “Get It Done.”

The Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry has operated under the roof of South Presbyterian Church for 10 years, and we have always been grateful for their hospitality and support.  When the Covid-19 Pandemic ignited in New York last year, live attendance at religious services were canceled, and our operations were moved from Fellowship Hall into the Church’s Sanctuary and Music Room.  

While our lines are still long, things appear to be getting better and services at churches, synagogues and mosques are opening with masks and distancing.  South Presbyterian is still – first and foremost – a house of worship.  This Sunday, June 6, services were scheduled to resume for the first time in over a year.  

Knowing this day would come, we began planning our exit.  I was asked to find a way to stuff 15 pounds into a 5-pound bag and move all our inventory and equipment into the Music Room. Being on the wrong side of 72, I asked specifically for and got the assistance of two ingenious volunteers – Suzanna Halatyn, who is in charge of Inventory, and Suzy Barnett, of co-head of FP’s Delivery operation.  The two possess an uncanny ability not only for finding practical solutions to difficult problems but have the drive to make them happen.  All I needed to do was get them the equipment they needed and then stay out of their way.

Inventory Chief Suze Halatyn (L) and Suzy Barnett, co-chief of FP Deliveries; both possessed of the requisite brains and brawn behind FP’s exit from the Sanctuary in time for the resumption of religious services on 6 June 2021.

Another extraordinary member of the team that keeps the Food Pantry going no matter what the obstacles is Sharon Bilman (left, below), who also exemplifies the “Get It Done” spirit of our corps of volunteers.  There is not a thing Sharon can’t handle.

Sharon kindly set up a table of free books for our clients to take this week.

Items most needed this week: Size 4 and size 6 diapers (we had to purchase diapers for the first time this week!) and baby wipes; women’s sanitary napkins (pads); adult diapers.

This week’s newsletter was written by the guy who can fix anything, Duke Coffey.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 26, 2021

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Molly Rodriguez Day!

At the Village board of trustees meeting last night, Mayor Rossillo declared today Molly Rodriguez Day in recognition of her 10 years of service as director/co-director of the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry. Here’s Molly displaying her Village proclamation. Take a bow, Molly!

Did we set another record today? We certainly were busy this morning serving a steady stream of clients – 154 families, including 48 deliveries, and totaling 549 people. Another 11 households picked up tonight. 

Let’s follow clients on a typical Wednesday morning. After they pick up their box of shelf-stable items, bag of produce, and maybe diapers, they make their way past tables of what I call extras – today, dairy items donated by Mom’s Organic Market and cereals from Stop & Shop, eggs, even a handful of fresh oregano, then on to the assortment of “freebies,” – one-off donations that might include balsamic vinegar, dog food, herbal tea, or Grey Poupon. Their final stop is our returns table. Why it took us a year to invite patrons to return the unwanted items in their pre-packed boxes I don’t know but it caught on instantly. Don’t love black beans? Return them and take a second box of mac and cheese or can of pineapple. There’s no one thing that comes back to us, but one finding has emerged: chunky peanut butter is far more popular than creamy. Who knew?

Food pantry day has become a convenient way to reach many families served by Spring Community Partners. Today we added a table where local moms could sign up their school-aged kids up for next year’s school supplies, which can cost up to $90 depending on their grade, or gain access to the village pool this summer at a very discounted rate. It is a joy to witness all Spring’s efforts, funded by fundraisers and community donors, that enrich the lives of our pantry families. 

When I first volunteered in 2013, I expected to spend a couple hours one morning a week at the pantry and call it a day. I had no inkling of the number of people working behind the scenes between Wednesdays and the man-hours (and woman-hours) spent strategizing, procuring, storing, schlepping, packing, and solving logistical challenges outside of pantry hours. Here’s an example: We can’t just waltz into Stop & Shop and buy 300 cans of tuna or 150 pounds of penne when we need them.

We order in bulk from folks who can supply what we need when we can receive it. We depend heavily on the pallets from Feeding Westchester that contain enough of 10 or so items to serve 120 families for one week. Usually the 1400-pound pallets are delivered but what happens when our assigned delivery day is a holiday, like Memorial Day, and the pallet on offer has stuff we desperately want? We mobilize a caravan of drivers to pick it all up on Tuesday instead. And on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday of the month, we pick up the monthly Green Thumb produce allotment to distribute the next day. Artichokes and mangoes, anyone?

Another peek behind the scenes: Dr. Nitin Gupta of Rivertowns Pediatrics wears many hats besides that of community pediatrician. Earlier this month he spent two sessions at the pantry to give first vaccines to a total of 28 pantry clients and others. Last Saturday you might have seen him at Stop & Shop spearheading the Rivertowns Rotary diaper drive to benefit the pantry. A big thanks to all of you who donated “carloads” of diapers and almost $600 cash. It’s been a while since I bought diapers, but Google tells me that a month’s supply of disposables can run $70-80. A recent NY Times article on the demand for diapers at food pantries quoted one mom as saying that she always has a can or two of food she can stretch to feed her kids, but you can’t exactly stretch a diaper. It figures that diapers fly off our shelves as fast as we get them in.

Here are Dr. Gupta (and his kids) with Jean Sear and store manager, Jim, during Saturday’s diaper drive:

Is this salsa verde? Pesto sauce? I’m sure it’s yummy but, unfortunately, we cannot distribute items that are homemade, unlabeled, undated, or in glass jars. Did I mention the mess today when someone dropped a box containing a glass jar of Prego?

Items most needed now: dried black beans, white rice, pasta sauce (cans or plastic jars only!), diapers – especially sizes 4, 5 & 6, and baby wipes.

Time is running out to buy a Give Back reusable shopping bag at Stop & Shop to benefit our pantry. For each purchase during May, the store will donate $1. I say you can’t have too many shopping bags.

Today’s newsletter written by our cherished and longtime volunteer, Ellen Klein.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 19, 2021

At 10 a.m. on any Wednesday, clients of the food pantry step into a world that we’ve created together—volunteers helping over 100 families a week, folks dropping off donations, and people in need of food looking out for each other.     

This week, we helped 135 families, a total of 493 people. Our volunteers are generous of spirit, but so are our clients, week after week. One man asks if he could have the restaurant-size can of tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce for his elderly neighbors. A woman eyes the 6-pound can of butter beans and hesitates to take it in case somebody needs it more than her family does. In the middle of all this give-and-take, a client reaches into a pocket and hands me a piece of candy, a reminder that we’re in this together and grateful to be seen.

The generosity does not stop there. Donations of money, food, and assorted items keep the pantry going, and this week Cabrini Eldercare donated stuffed animals for our youngest clients to snuggle with; special thanks to Cabrini’s Judy Connolly (pictured below). And kudos to Renya for donating a stroller in top condition (instead of hauling it the curb). You made one family very happy.

Vaccination Made Easy

For the second consecutive week we offered the COVID-19 vaccine to our clients and others in the community, thanks to Dr. Nitin Gupta of Rivertowns Pediatrics. He provided the vaccine and administered it with the help of Mary Anne Griggs, a longtime pantry volunteer and a nurse. Dr. Gupta will return in several weeks to follow up with the second dose. 

Want to Help?

If you’d like to donate money to help our neighbors get the food they need, use this link. Donations of unopened packaged food that hasn’t expired can be left in the bin outside the church doors, and for larger donations contact us at dobbsferrypantry@gmail.com. This week, the items we need most are pasta sauce, tuna, crunchy peanut butter, and canned soup.  We always need diapers, especially size 5 and 6, and if you’re at Stop & Shop this Saturday, May 22, you’ll see the Rivertowns Rotary Club hosting a diaper drive for the pantry’s clients from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We’re not here to judge, but are your reusable grocery bags looking a bit grungy? Stop & Shop sells “Give Back” reusable bags and is donating a dollar for each bag sold to the food pantry.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 12, 2021

This week the Food Pantry served 137 families, and 478 people.

In addition to our usual distribution of food and sundry items, we hosted a pop-up clinic to provide Moderna vaccines to our clients and other community individuals.  A huge shout out goes to Dr. Nitin Gupta, info@rivertownspeds.com who graciously provided the vaccine and administered it as well.  He was assisted by our very own volunteers, Mary Anne Grigg, a nurse, and our dear beloved Molly Rodriguez who assisted in translating. Co-director, Gretchen Skaggs, brought the reinforcements for getting vaccinated – donuts!  Dr. Gupta will return next week to administer more first shots of the vaccine to our clients.

We received another donation from our faithful Scarsdale Women’s Club, car loads of shelf stable goods that will go a long way to feeding our in-need community members. Thanks to Rosemary King, Joan David and their fellow supporters. It is so gratifying to see how simple acts of kindness can help build a stronger and more vibrant community.

With the church planning to resume in-person services, starting June 6th, we are working hard to complete our transition from the sanctuary to  mainly Fellowship Hall.  There we will discreetly share physical space with other initiatives and activities.  I think the Transition Team of Duke Coffey, Suzanna Halatyn and Suzy Barnett did a fantastic job in organizing space and making it aesthetically pleasing. The pantry is so lucky to have such dedicated and creative individuals who give so generously of their time and energy. There was an expense to our moving with the need to build shelves, buy cabinets and put up screening.  We hope to find grant money from the Giving Circle of Lower Westchester.  Monica Gains has been a real supporter of the pantry and we appreciate anything they might be able to do for us.

This week we also made contact with Stop & Shop Manager Jim, who will be the point person to donate to pantries under the Excess Food Act. The Excess Food Act created guidelines for supermarkets to donate “excess food” to pantries across the state.  This will be fully enacted June 1, 2021. It is about time this common sense law was promulgated. Stop & Shop is also promoting purchasing “Give Back” reusable bags and will give our pantry $1.00 for each one sold. So next time you’re at the store, consider purchasing one!

Rivertown Rotary Club will be doing a diaper drive May 22 and we are in desperate need of sizes 5 and 6!

The most needed items this week: Size 5 and 6 diapers, baby wipes, tuna, tomato sauce (no glass jars).

Remember, we are so appreciative of all donations, big and small.  If you have something to donate, you can leave it in the bin outside the church doors.  Bigger donations will be received by volunteers – just send an email to this address and we will arrange for someone to help. Please remember to donate only items that haven’t expired and are unopened. Thank you for your support!  And of course, financial donations of all sizes are extremely helpful.

Be well,

Vera Halpenny, Co-Director, Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 6, 2021

Hello!  I’m Gretchen and I’m the new Co-Director of the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry, alongside Vera Halpenny.  I have been volunteering at the Pantry since about June 2020 and am excited to be taking on this new role.

Due to rain and being the first week of the month, we had a slower day yesterday than the previous record-breaking week.  We served 129 families which represented 468 individuals.  In addition to the usual box of canned and shelf-stable items and a bag of fresh produce, our clients were treated to a variety of dairy and vegan items donated by MOM’s Organic Market, the newest grocery store in Dobbs, as well as delicious meals from Pete’s Saloon of Elmsford.  John Fuffi and his Trivia Night team generously donated their winnings for Pete’s to cook meals for the pantry.  John and Pete’s Saloon owner, Anthony Bartolotta, delivered the meals early Wednesday morning, rain and all.

We would like to thank Micah Spellman and the residents of The Landing for their generous fundraising efforts.  They were able to raise enough money for the Pantry to purchase 50 much needed shopping carts for our clients.  Many of our clients are either elderly, take public transportation or have small children, which can make it difficult for them to carry all of the items we have for them.  We saw a need for rolling shopping carts that we could give to those clients to help them get their groceries home and Micah and his neighbors generously filled that need!  Thank you!

We are excited to be benefiting from an on-going relationship between SPRING Community Partners and The Sharing Shelf.  The Sharing Shelf provides clothing to children in need throughout Westchester Country.  Over the last few weeks, in collaboration with SPRING, we have been taking surveys of our families with children 18 and younger.  Each child will be receiving seven days worth of outfits, from head to toe!  So far we have almost 100 children signed up.  The children are able to give The Sharing Shelf details such as their favorite colors and preferred clothing styles.  We are expecting to be able to work with SPRING to distribute the clothing before the end of this month.   We are also working on a collaborative way to work with SPRING to collect clothing donations, as well.  Stay tuned!

We are making great progress on our move out of the church’s sanctuary and into Fellowship Hall, now that the church will soon resume indoor services.  Our wonderful volunteers Duke Coffey, Suzanna Halatyn, and Suzy Barnett have worked long hours to assemble shelving and clear out the pews of our inventory.  We hope to be completely moved to our new area in the next week or two.

And finally we are so grateful to Dr. Nitin Gupta of Dobbs Ferry, Founder of Rivertowns Pediatrics and a member of South Presbyterian Church, who will be providing vaccines to our clients at next week’s Pantry.  Dr. Gupta approached us with this incredible offer recently and we immediately started signing up clients and their families.  We will have Spanish translators on hand to help answer questions and interpret instructions.

Items most needed this week: size 6 diapers, baby wipes, adult diapers, canned diced tomatoes and tuna.

Have a wonderful week, all!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment