TARRYTOWN, N.Y. For approximately 400 people, the Community Food Pantry at Christ Episcopal Church is a valuable lifeline each month.
The pantry is one of several in Tarrytown that serves needy families. Co-founder Teri Levine said they need donations year round, not just during the holidays.
What's very interesting is we'll get bombarded for the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, even Easter, Levine said. And everybody forgets us during the summer.
Levine noted that the need for food doesn't just come from one group.
Everybody's hungry now and so many people have lost their jobs, she said.
The food pantry was founded in December of 2009 by a group of volunteers after the Boys and Girls Club was closed. Since then, Levine said now they get food coming from all over the place.
Since there had been a food pantry here for so long, people were just waiting for an opportunity to donate, Levine said.
The food pantry distributes food on the first and third Thursday of every month from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Other pantries located at the Community Opportunity Center and the Salvation Army distribute food on their own schedules.
We get anybody from Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown and even some from Irvington, Levine said.
The food pantry asks that anyone in need provide proof of residence of Tarrytown or Sleepy Hollow. The pantry does give out food to residents from other communities if a request comes in from a school social worker.
Levine said the pantry tries to give everyone cereal and milk first, although milk is sometimes hard to get. They also distribute canned items, rice, beans, pasta, peanut butter, oil, oatmeal and some non-food items such as detergent, diapers and feminine products.
Levine said anyone can donate items by dropping them off at Christ Episcopal Church.
You can donate the food by going through the red doors at this church, Levine said.
Volunteers can also come to open steering committee meetings held every second Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the food pantry. Levine noted that some volunteers have formed lasting relationships with the people who use the food pantry.
What's really cool is that there are people who will wait until the right person comes so they can come and talk to them about things such as school, Levine said.
The food pantry has also formed strong bonds with the community. Temple Beth Abraham is very involved, Levine said. The temple recently received a grant for new shelves in the food pantry.
Tarrytown Honda has also gotten involved by helping the pantry transport food from the Food Bank of Westchester to its John Street location.
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