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Local Charities

The Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown

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February 21, 2022

Within our rivertown communities there are many charitable organizations whose aims are to benefit various segments of the population. They feed the disadvantaged, assist those with special needs, including refugees, further education and play for children, protect persons from abuse, provide services and companionship for seniors and protect our ecosystem.

Recognizing the many and varied accomplishments rendered by these organizations for our communities, The Hudson Independent is providing each an opportunity to describe what they do and who they help. Articles from these organizations will appear as a series on this website.  

 

The Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow & Tarrytown

The Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow & Tarrytown began distributing food to local residents in need out of Christ Episcopal Church in Tarrytown in December of 2009, and we continue to do so to this day.

Prompted by an initiative of the Kids’ Club of Tarrytown & Sleepy Hollow, representatives of local non-profits, the school district and houses of worship came together that first year to discuss what was needed in the community. The overwhelming answer was food. The Community Food Pantry (CFP) was formed as a non-profit 501(c)3 to meet that need.

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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, CFP had gone from serving just a few families each month to an average of 275 families per month. With the arrival of the pandemic, however, came two major and contradictory events: our food supply chain dried up and the number of families needing our services each month increased by 200% to 1,000 families.

The Pantry board and an amazing group of volunteers jumped into action. A call was put out via social media for food donations and the community responded immediately with drop offs of all the staples we needed. In addition, DeCicco’s Grocery Store and Kendal on Hudson used their suppliers to each provide a whole distribution’s worth of food and several other organizations ran food drives to supplement these efforts. After the first couple of months, we were able to find a wholesaler we could use to purchase food and we paired that with fresh produce we received from Feeding Westchester.

With the food finally coming in, we also realized that the only way we could meet this huge increase in need would be to increase from a once-a-month food distribution to twice-a-month. This increase in operations would require a huge increase in funding.

Fortunately, the Westchester Community Foundation, Kids’ Club of Tarrytown & Sleepy Hollow, Kendal on Hudson Residents Association, the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns, the Kendal on Hudson Foundation, the Phelps Healthcare Foundation and an amazing number of private individuals stepped up with generous grants and contributions. That allowed us to meet the $30,000 food bill each month as well as supplement with C-Town gift cards for our families. This outpouring of support during such a difficult time was both overwhelming and heartwarming.

Not surprisingly, our donor dollars have decreased over the past year and so we have moved back to our once monthly distribution. Unfortunately, the need for food is still great. The large number of families that come to that distribution (anywhere from 400 to 500) shows that while many people have been able to return to something close to normalcy, thanks to the vaccine, our families are still struggling to dig themselves out of the financial hole that Covid caused.

We are very grateful to all those who have supported us during this difficult time and especially so to our wonderful volunteers. They show up during rain, snow, heat, early mornings or late evenings with a can-do attitude that always carries the day.

If you would like to find out more about the Pantry, please visit our website at www.communityfoodpantryshtt.org.

_______________________________

In appreciation of the services provided to our communities by many local non-profit organizations such as yours, The Hudson Independent invites you to describe your organization’s activities and services, which we will then publish on our website. Related photos or artwork, if available, are welcome.

We invite you to submit an article, written by someone in your organization, explaining what your organization offers and how it helps individuals or society in general. While you may describe how you obtain funding for your services, this should not be viewed as a direct pitch for funding. We reserve the right to edit the piece, though with respect for your intent.

The article should not exceed 600 words. We hope to be able to publish your article within three or four weeks of receiving it.   

If you have any questions, please provide them in an email to editor@thehudsonindependent.com. Your completed article should be sent via email to the same address.  

 

Robert Kimmel


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