Welcome to the Spring 2018 newsletter of the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force
We are an all-volunteer coalition of community organizations, houses of worship, and concerned citizens dedicated to assisting local families who need food. We run a food pantry twice a month that distributes a nutritional bag of groceries providing four days of meals.
Spring 2018   

I More Than Just Food     
For over 25 years the primary mission of the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force has been to provide nutritious food to struggling families in our communities. However, in recent years we have introduced several new initiatives to expand the assistance we offer to our constituency. Realizing that many of our clients don't have access to adequate health services and information, we launched a nutrition-education program at the Food Pantry. Representatives from Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital attend our food distributions to talk with clients about various subjects including healthy eating habits, balanced diets for both themselves and their children, and how to prepare nourishing meals. To complement this program we partnered with the Rye Y to have their representatives offer on-site information about diabetes prevention. In addition to health-related information, we have also arranged for the Pace Women's Justice Center to offer legal counselling to our clients. The following article will tell you about our latest initiative, "Fresh Market," which also combines access to nutritious food with healthcare-related services.

Malcolm Frouman
President, LMHTF
I "Fresh Market" Comes to Mamaroneck    

Fresh Market produce and bread from a recent distribution

On the last Saturday of the every month, members of local families start lining up early in the parking lot of the Open Door Family Medical Center on Mamaroneck Avenue. They are waiting for the arrival of a truck carrying over 10,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. The produce will be provided to them for free.  

The program, called "Fresh Market," was created by Feeding Westchester (formerly Food Bank for Westchester) and is offered to several communities in the county including Mamaroneck. The high-quality produce, donated by the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx, is food that has gone unsold and would otherwise be thrown out. A typical distribution might include asparagus, string beans, peppers, avocados, tomatoes, melons, apples, pears, pineapples, and grapes. In addition to the produce, there are usually hundreds of pounds of assorted unsold breads that have been donated by various merchants.  

Open Door volunteers, left to right, Karina Barreto, Kitson Smyth, Ally Carbone
The Mamaroneck Fresh Market program began in March of this year and is the result of a partnership between the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force and Open Door Family Medical Centers. The two organizations publicize the event to the community and provide the more than two dozen volunteers necessary to run the distribution. "Nutritious food is essential in the management and prevention of disease," says Gina DeVito, Director of Wellness Initiatives for Open Door. "As health-care providers, it is our responsibility to educate patients about the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and good health. The Fresh Market is an exemplary solution for both hunger and health and an exciting way to bring members of the community together."  
Volunteers set up tables, unload the produce from large pallets, and pre-bag smaller items. Open Door staffers are there to inform residents about the health-related services available at the Medical Center.

After everyone is served, volunteers clean up the parking area and stack the sorted piles of empty cartons, crates and pallets for the recycling pick- up provided by the Village of Mamaroneck. Any leftover produce is often donated to another organization that distributes food to needy families.  
The Food Pantry purchases much of the food it provides to clients at its regular distribution from Feeding Westchester.  
I Grateful Home-Bound Clients    

While most of the families we serve come to the Food Pantry to receive their food, quite a few are elderly, infirm, or otherwise unable to travel and require home delivery. A previous issue of From the Pantry told readers about the volunteers who, twice a month, pull up to the Pantry in their vehicles, load up with bags of groceries and produce and deliver the food to home-bound clients. We asked some of these folks what the home-delivery service means to them. Their names are not included to protect their privacy. -Peter Cohen
Among the over 80 home deliveries we perform are 47 apartments at the Mamaroneck Towers, an apartment building housing many  elderly and/or disabled clients. Here are comments from some:

"I appreciate you guys so much. You are all so nice. You even came here to explain to us about food expiration dates and things I would never have known. You're so generous to be doing this for us." 

"Sometimes I have trouble making it down to the lobby to get food, much less to the market. They often bring it right to my door!"

"I love the convenience of having it brought right to the building, especially in winter."

"God Bless you for what you do. It is so much appreciated"

In addition to the Mamaroneck Towers, deliveries are made to residents in individual homes and apartments:
"I can't get out much from my apartment until my aide comes. What the drivers do for me is unbelievable, coming to my apartment and helping me with the bag of food. Thank you so much!"

"Thank everyone there who does this for me. The ladies who bring me my food are lovely"    

"I have a bad leg and it's hard for me to come down my stairs so the deliverer will bring it up. I know she's busy and is going out of her way for me."

"All of you are so sweet. Thank you for this food and for the pineapple today! It's so nice to have someone come here. " 
I Remembering a Long-Time Volunteer  

Ken Silbergleit, a volunteer at the Food Pantry for 24 years, died early this June after suddenly becoming very ill. Ken had been a dedicated member of the Pantry's truck shift, the crew that would unload huge pallets with cartons of canned goods, eggs, fresh produce and other items and place the boxes on a ramp leading down to our main pantry area. Ken had recently announced his "retirement" from volunteering at the Pantry, planning to move with his wife, Joanie, to Massachusetts. Ken was a mainstay of the truck shift. He embodied what we all admire about people with a commitment to community service. Shortly before

Ken Silbergleit
his death, Ken offered these memories of volunteering at the Food Pantry:

"When I began my volunteer work at the Food Pantry, I was one of three men and I was by far the youngest. Needless to say, I had to plan appointments, vacations, and other demands around the Food Pantry schedule. I leave behind a team of great guys to unload the trucks.

Probably the most amazing thing about my 24 years at the Pantry is, despite being one of the world's great klutzes, I never suffered a serious injury, just occasional cuts and bruises. I will miss everyone." 
I Community Service Award  

I am a junior
Jessica Katz
at Mamaroneck High School and have been volunteering at the Food Pantry since 7th grade. I love working there. So when I became Community Service Director for Future Business Leaders of America at the high school, I chose helping the Food Pantry as our community-service project. For each food distribution we organized volunteers to help out at the Pantry's packing shift, organized a drive at the school that collected over 200 cans of food, and we helped out at the Pantry's Thanksgiving food drive. This project earned us third place at the FBLA's State Leadership Conference. In June, we will be competing at the National Leadership Conference where we will present this project. The high school-students had an amazing time volunteering to help others, and I recommend that you got involved too! - Jessica Katz
I Help Wanted: No Experience Needed!      

Hunger doesn't take a vacation and the need for volunteers is urgent as we plan our volunteer shifts this summer. The Food Pantry is staffed 100% by volunteers. The summer is a great time for new people to get involved, as many of our regulars are away. If you have a college student who is home or have more free time yourself while your kids are at sleep-away camp, please consider donating some of your time to The Food Pantry. The dates for the summer distributions are July 10-11, July 24-25, August 7-8 and August 21-22. Here is a brief description of the volunteer opportunities that are available:

Downstairs Truck Shift. Tuesday mornings 8:30-11:00 am. Skip the gym and come to the Pantry for a workout. This shift unloads the food from the delivery trucks and sets up the cases of food for the packing shift. Please note you should be able to lift 20-lb cases of canned goods to participate for this shift. Volunteers 12 and up only please. Email abbykatzny@gmail.com to sign up.

Packing Shift. Tuesday evenings 5:00-6:30 pm. This shift packs the groceries into the bags assembly-line style. This is the best shift to get younger people involved and organized groups are welcome.
Email volunteer@LMFoodPantry.org to sign up.

Volunteers for the packing shift are especially needed for  September 4 and September 25.

Tuesday Evening Food Distribution. 6:30-8:00 pm.
This shift distributes the groceries to our clients.
Email malcolm.frouman@LMfoodpantry.org to sign up.

Wednesday Morning Food Distribution. 9:00-10:30 am.
This shift also distributes the groceries to our clients.
Email wednesday.volunteer@lmfoodpantry.org to sign up. 

How You Can Help 

To donate or volunteer, visit us on the web at:
To sponsor a food drive, contact Sondra Levy at:

Specific items are always needed. This spring, our most urgent
needs are cereal and shelf-stable milk. Visit our website
for more information on how to donate these items.
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