February 28, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday in the morning we served 35 families with 66 adults, 42 children and 11 seniors.  Then in the evening we served another 8 families, including 18 adults, 14 children and 2 seniors.  This brought us to a total of 43 families, 84 adults, 56 children and 13 seniors for the day.  We served 153 people yesterday.  For the  month of February we averaged 34 families per week and 117 people a week.

        Rob Baron and his associates (including me) have continued obtaining signatures on petitions to get the Route 6 bus’s route changed to include stops along Cedar and Main in Dobbs Ferry.  At the Village Board meeting this past Tuesday Rob made a thorough and impressive presentation, and the Board voted to okay the change.  It won’t take place until the fall due to whatever procedures they have to go through, but all our efforts paid off.  I was involved because many of our pantry clients live in downtown Dobbs Ferry, and they have to try to duck across Broadway in order to try and catch the bus.  Now they can get the bus close to where they live.
        On Saturday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. the South Presbyterian teen group will have a musical benefit to support their scholarship fund for teens to travel to needy countries in order to help with projects going on in those countries.  Two teens have already gone to the Dominican Republic, and there are other countries they’d like to visit to see how they can help.  Tickets are $30 and you can order them at www.southpres.org.  Or let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.  Dinner will be served by our chefs, Peter, Alex and Eric.  I’ve seen these teens perform and they’re amazing!
        Deacon Sharon Brennan from Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church visited the pantry yesterday, just to see how we work, what goes on, and how best she can help us.  As a deacon, she’s going to make the pantry her mission.  Thank you so much, Sharon and DFLC.  One of the ways we’re thinking that she might help would be in locating senior citizens and disabled people who might need food but can’t get to the pantry.  We’d be glad to drop off food to those people as long as they need it.
        Another group of angels are the Ardsley United Methodist Women’s group.  They operate a thrift shop every Thursday from 10:00 to 2:00, and they’re planning on allocating some of the proceeds to help the pantry.  They work hard at that thrift shop.  I was there this morning, and it was a busy place, and we at the pantry are grateful that they’re keeping us in mind as people find things to buy.
        By the way, there’s also a thrift shop at Zion Episcopal in Dobbs Ferry on Thursdays and Saturdays in the afternoon.  So, there are lots of places where you can find fantastic buys or donate your unused stuff.
        January and February are over with!  Welcome, March!
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February 20, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served 39 families, including 74 adults, 56 children and 11 seniors.  We served a total of 140 people today.

       Today was a test of everybody’s good spirits because the South Church sanctuary is being painted over the next month, which means our clients had to wait their turn in a much smaller room.  And, since this was a week off from school, quite a few children were included.  Everybody was patient and cooperative about it.  They waited in the room occupied by our volunteer art therapist, Stephanie Buck, and more people than usual got caught up in doing art projects.  So it actually turned out to be a good thing.
       I went to church at Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church this past Sunday in order to thank them for doing a Souper Bowl of Caring drive for us.  One of their deacons has made the pantry her particular mission, so she’ll be visiting us soon to see how best she can help.  DFLC is a church that is very involved in helping the community.
       In the next week or two I’ll also be attending Ardsley United Methodist Church, another church that, month after month, gathers bags and bags of food for us.  Ken and Brenda Stahn faithfully collect the bags, load them into their car and deliver the bags to South Church’s kitchen.
       I’ll also be visiting Zion Episcopal here in Dobbs Ferry for the same reason – regular, consistent, reliable provision of shelf-stable food for us without our even asking for it.  It just shows up, unbidden, delivered and shelved by Carol Seischab.  What more could we ask?
       This past Monday was the annual luncheon of the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center, of which Benny and I are proud members.  In addition to a delicious lunch at La Catena, people brought food for the pantry!  Even though many of these members live on a fixed income, they think of us and help us whenever they can.  Plus there’s a bin at the Senior Center which members stock whenever they think of it.
       If anybody on this list would like to donate some diapers, we would appreciate it.  As of today we have three pregnant clients who will be needing diapers and baby wipes very soon.
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February 15, 2019

Good morning, everybody – Last Wednesday, despite the bad weather, we served a total of 21 families with 33 adults, 21 children and 11 seniors.  We served 65 people on Wednesday.

     I will have more copies of Rob Baron’s petition to re-route the Route 6 bus, so that it goes down Cedar and Main, at the pantry this coming Wednesday so that more clients can sign it.  Many of them don’t have cars and rely often on buses.  I’ve seen mothers with a couple of kids trying to cross Broadway to get the No. 6 bus, so it’s a reasonable request to change the route.  There will also be copies of the petition at South Church on Sunday so members of the congregation can sign it as well.  If anybody on this list is interested in helping to get signatures, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Rob Baron.
     Last night our volunteers Benny, Mary Anne and Marc talked about the pantry and Roots & Wings to the members of the Greenburgh Town Board.  You can watch the entire meeting, including our volunteers, on Fios Channel 35 or whatever Optimum channel carries the Greenburgh meetings.  I wasn’t with them but I watched them on TV, and they did very well.  Supposedly they were nervous, but it didn’t come across.  So we have a presentation team!  If anybody wants them to come and talk about the pantry and Roots & Wings, just let me know.
     We’re halfway through February!
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February 7, 2019

Hello, everybody – yesterday we served 32 families, including 56 adults, 38 children and 17 seniors.  We served a total of 111 people yesterday, including two new families.

       The food drive at Stop & Shop this past Saturday was a smashing success, as it has been in years past.  The boys from the football team are friendly and charming, and just about everybody who goes into Stop & Shop is willing to buy a little something for the pantry.  Everything the boys brought is in the upstairs storage room at South Church, and I’ve posted a picture of the amazing amount of food, diapers and other products on Facebook, Twitter and on our website.  And people sent cash, also which we always need.   A hug and kiss to the boys, their parents, and to the shoppers who gave so generously.
       Then on Super Bowl Sunday the Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church youth group had a soup cook-off to which everybody brought something for the pantry, and everybody paid to taste the various soups.  All of the food and cash were delivered to us by Kristen Arone of DFLC.  Thank you, Kristen, and thank you to everybody at DFLC for keeping the pantry in mind while enjoying their soup.  Special thanks to the church youth group!
       Rob Baron, who has worked for years on making streets safer in the Rivertowns for pedestrians and bikers, has started a campaign to change the route of the Beeline 6 bus to include Cedar and Main Streets in Dobbs Ferry, as it used to be.  A couple of years ago the route was changed so that the bus goes straight along Broadway from Dobbs to Hastings.  This means that people who live downtown in Dobbs Ferry must walk all the way up and down the hill, and must dodge traffic to cross Broadway to catch the bus (the bus company itself had nothing to do with this change).  This is especially hard for senior citizens and mothers with small children.  No one has been hit yet, but before that happens Rob has started a petition drive to convince the Village Board to return the bus to its original route.  I had copies of the petition at the pantry yesterday, and several volunteers and clients signed.  I’ll show it to more clients next week.  If anybody on this list wants to sign, contact me and I’ll see that you get to sign the petition.
       One of our clients, who has come regularly to the pantry for years, also volunteers at another pantry in Yonkers on the first Monday of the month.  She and her husband were horrified to see that the staff at the pantry was prepared to throw out whatever produce they had left at the end of the day.  Instead, she and her husband brought the produce to our pantry, where we gave it out on Wednesday.  They packed as much as they could into our refrigerators, and it was ready to go two days later.  Our clients give as well as receive.
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February 3, 2019

On Saturday, Feb. 2 – the day before Super Bowl Sunday – the Dobbs Ferry High School football team did a food drive for the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry at Stop & Shop.  The boys were there for hours in the cold, encouraging shoppers to buy extra food to donate to the pantry. 

            The result was bags, bags and more bags of food and toiletries, all transported to South Presbyterian Church by the boys and their parents, and carried upstairs to a waiting office.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the teammates and their parents who brought this all together.  A special shout-out to parents Patti Straub, Sue Hemsley and Carolyn Fessler, and the other parents who helped them organize this tremendous effort.  We’re also grateful to the shoppers themselves, who took the time to look for and buy something extra for the hungry in the Rivertowns. 

            While I’m at it, I’d also like to send out a thank-you to the Community Nursery School, which is located at South Presbyterian Church.  On February 2 they had their Lunar New Year party, and every guest brought something for the Food Pantry.  We ended up with two huge boxes of shelf-stable food for our clients, which will be given out this coming Wednesday.  A special thanks to Linda Jo Platt, the Director of the nursery school, who always keeps the Pantry in mind.  We need this consistent, reliable attention to keep feeding the hungry.

 

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upstairs storage room at South Church after the February 2 food drive at Stop & Shop by the Dobbs Ferry High School football team. GO EAGLES!!

DFHS food drive feb 2 2019

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January 31, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – yesterday morning we served a total of 28 families, including 50 adults, 25 children and 12 seniors.  In the evening we served another 5 families with 12 adults and 11 children.  In total we served 62 families with 62 adults, 36 children and 12 seniors.  We served 110 people yesterday.  During the month of January we averaged 27 families a week, and 97 people a week.

A reminder for everybody to shop at Stop & Shop this coming Saturday between the hours of 9:30 am and 1:30 pm so that you can buy something extra and give it to the Dobbs Ferry High School football team, who will be doing a food drive for us.  In addition to shelf-stable food we can always use diapers and baby wipes.  Sizes 4, 5 and 6 are the most popular sizes.
Once a month we have a grant to receive a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables from Feeding Westchester.  We schedule it for the end of the month so that we can have some for our clients who come in the evening on the last Wednesday of the month.  We have a number of clients who come regularly in the evening every month.  Sometimes we have produce left over, even after the evening pantry, and then we have a number of organizations who gladly accept produce from us, as well as whatever bagels and bread we still have.  We often provide food to the Days of Wonder Day Care Center, which is right in the building, and the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center is also happy to take what we have left over.  This morning we had some lettuce as well as bagels left over, and I took them to the Irvington Senior Center.  So, nothing goes to waste.
In February, volunteers Mary Anne, Benny and Marc will be speaking to the Greenburgh Town Board about the food pantry and Roots and Wings.  They’ll have a supply of brochures for everybody as well.  The more people who know about the pantry the better.  Even though we’ve been around since 2013, we’re surprised to learn that there are people who don’t know about us.  Somewhere there may be hungry people who need what we have to offer but don’t know about us.
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January 23, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served a total of 30 families, with 62 adults, 42 children and 10 seniors.  We served 113 people today.

Our friends at Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church are having a Souper Bowl of Caring party at church on Super Bowl Sunday.  This is an activity that happens every year on that day throughout the United States with the goal of tackling and eradicating hunger.  It’s hard to believe, but 1 in 5 people in Westchester is food-insecure.  So, churches, organizations, families and individuals try to do something to fight against hunger on that day in whatever way they can.  At Dobbs Ferry Lutheran they’ll be having a soup cook-off, and collecting food and money for the pantry at the same time.  Heidi van Osdol is one of the organizers, and we are grateful for all of her efforts and the efforts of the families and soup-makers who will make sure their event is a success for them and for us.
And if you’re having a Super Bowl party, you can ask your guests to bring some shelf-stable food for the pantry or make a monetary donation.  Get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to figure out how to pick up the donations.
Benny, Marc and I spoke about the pantry and Roots and Wings at Woodlands Community Temple on Monday, where they were celebrating Martin Luther King Day and Jewish Arbor Day (where trees are planted in Israel) by having a pancake breakfast.  We handed out brochures and people (the adults at least) were interested in what we had to say (the kids were eating).  Even though we’ve been around for years now, we still need to educate people about who we are and where we are, and the importance of fighting hunger.
Nola Kende Long came this morning with a huge amount of food gathered for us by the families of the second- and third-graders at Springhurst.  We appreciate all the effort that goes into a drive like that, and she’ll be doing it all over again in May!  Thank you, Nola, and thank you, Springhurst.
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January 16, 2019

Good evening, everybody – today we served a total of 27 families, including 51 adults, 32 children and 12 seniors.  We served 95 people today.

I was contacted by Patricia Straub, one of the parents of the Dobbs Ferry High School football team, which had a banner year this year.  As they have for the past several years, they’ll be doing a food drive for us at Stop & Shop on Saturday, February 2.  That’s the day before Super Bowl Sunday, so there should be many people shopping that day.  Please, everybody on this list do a little shopping at Stop & Shop that day, and buy something extra for the pantry.
At Springhurst they’re doing their second food drive of the year for us also, and Nola Long will be dropping the food off in a couple of weeks.  We need this food because donating drops off after the holidays.  I’m glad we can always count on the Dobbs Ferry schools for support.
Another support we can always count on are the local churches.  Ken Stahn dropped off fifteen bags of food from Ardsley United Methodist two days ago, and today Carol walked in with an entire cart’s worth of food from both Zion Episcopal and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran.  These churches have been caring for us for years.
This coming Monday Marc, Benny and I will be giving a brief presentation at Woodlands Community Temple.  It’s a combination of Martin Luther King Day and and the Jewish Arbor Day, and they’re celebrating environmental justice by donating to our Pantry.  We appreciate the people at Woodlands thinking of us, as they have through the years, and we’re glad to have a chance to educate everybody who comes about the pantry and Roots & Wings.

 

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January 9, 2019

Good afternoon, everybody – today we served a total of 24 families, including 47 adults, 42 children and 6 seniors.  We served 97 people today.

I placed an order today for a share of the CSA from Fable Farms in Ossining for the pantry.  We bought a share last summer, and Tom, the farmer, donated another share to us, plus we received a third share from the coordinator, who donated her share to us. Tom also always gave us whatever was left over after the delivery on Sunday mornings, so we had plenty of fresh produce for our clients.  If anybody on this list is interested in learning more about Fable, their website is www.fablefoods.com.  It’s amazing that there’s an actual farm in suburban Ossining.
One of our clients volunteers at another food pantry in Yonkers once a month.  A couple of days ago that pantry had a lot of produce left over, and they planned to throw it out.  Our client protested, and instead brought home enough produce that she was able to give some to all the people at her church, some to all her neighbors, and she still had enough left over that she gave a huge supply to us.  We ended up giving lots of produce to our clients, thanks to one of our clients!  We’re going to coordinate with her every second Monday to see what she can bring to us, so nothing goes to waste.  She also took the e-mail address of the Mercy College food pantry (MAV Market), and she’ll see if she can supply them with some fruits and vegetables as well.  So,nothing goes to waste.
We’ve been dropping food off at Cabrini Immigrant Services for a family so new to the country that they were anxious about coming in person to get food at the pantry.  Our volunteer, Andrew, suggested to the staff at Cabrini every week that they encourage the family to gather up their courage and come in person to pick up some food.  Today Lorraine, the director of Cabrini, called to say that the family will be coming to the pantry starting next week!  We’ll welcome them and make sure they feel safe to come every week.
We’re wondering if anybody who has been furloughed by the federal government will arrive at the pantry for some food.  We’ll be glad to help until they’re receiving a paycheck again.
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