Thank you to the coordinators of the recent Talent Show. The event raised over $650 for the Deacons’ Diaper Ministry. Thank you all for your talent and generosity!
If you or a family member is in need of a ride to church services, the Lunch Bunch, physical therapy sessions or doctors’ appointments, the Deacons are here to help. Contact Marty Scatola or the Church Office.
One of the many ministries of the Deacons is our Food Pantry. The Food Pantry has grown from a few shelves in a CE building hallway to a vibrant and much-needed ministry. This month Patrick Burns spoke with Katharine Frase, Food Pantry coordinator, about the Pantry ministry. We thank Katharine and all the volunteers for their dedication to the Pantry and its clients.
Please explain what the food pantry does
FPCY has been running a twice-a-month food pantry for nearly thirty years. The goal has always been to provide emergency supplies to local families experiencing hunger. Some of our clients need our services consistently, others only come a few times per year, as their finances or job situations change. We recently moved to a “choice” model, which allows our clients to choose foods that their families like, or that complement what they already have on the shelves. The choice model is both more efficient and more respectful and gives us more time to actually interact with our clients than the previous pre-packed bag approach. Our clients can choose from categories of non-perishable foods, as well as eggs, frozen meats, bread and once-per-month fresh produce. We could not do our ministry without our volunteers. Every pantry we have 20-25 volunteers who stock the shelves, help our clients to shop, and are the smiling faces of our ministry. About half of these volunteers are members of FPCY. The rest are from other organizations all over Yorktown.
Who is served?
One could as well ask “who is my neighbor?” Our clients come from Peekskill, Yorktown, Mohegan Lake, Shrub Oak, Ossining and Crompond. They include young families, mature families, elderly, veterans, disabled, every race and ethnicity you can imagine. The vast majority of them are employed, but many work the kinds of jobs that are insufficient to allow them to feed their families. We also deliver bags of groceries to the Beaver Ridge senior community in Yorktown.
How is the food pantry supplied?
We rely heavily on the support of Feeding Westchester (formerly known as the Food Bank for Westchester), where we get most of our food supplies at a large discount. This governmental agency has also provided us with monetary grants and credits that have helped purchase equipment. Other local businesses and civic associations, mostly notably the Yorktown Acme, JV Bagels, Panera, Polymedco and the Lions Club, have supported us for years, as have a number of schools and religious organizations.
What do you find most rewarding about it?
I love the reality of the pantry, the ability to turn Jesus’ instructions to feed the hungry into real people with real faces, rather than just a check in the mail. Over the many years I have worked the pantry, I have gotten to know a number of our clients pretty well and being able to greet them by name is a joy for both of us. And working the pantry has enabled me to get to know some of my fellow FPCY-ers better than I would have otherwise: there is nothing like working together to develop friendships. We welcome anyone who would like to volunteer. The major tasks are the set-up on Friday afternoons, and the pantry operation on Saturday mornings, twice per month. Anyone who is interested can email the foodpantry@FPCYorktown.org
~Patrick Burns, for the Deacons