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 2015

 I Gratitude

The Tuesday evening distribution is our busiest, with hundreds of clients lining up for food, many of them with their children in tow. One client, who I will call Jane, was a regular for several years. We always enjoyed Jane's arrival because she often showed up with her delightful kids, sometimes with all five. Jane would be carrying the youngest in her arms and the other kids would be trailing along behind, all well-behaved and almost always smiling. Some of our volunteers would compete to get to hold the little one, who was all sunshine. Despite financial hardship, Jane was clearly doing a nice job raising her brood. Several months ago, I realized that Jane and the kids hadn't been by to pick up their food in quite a while. A little worried, I called her to make sure she and the kids were okay. Jane had some good news. Her husband had recently graduated from law school and landed a job! With the regular income, they didn't need the Food Pantry's assistance anymore. Then she said, "Malcolm, I am so grateful for the help you all have given us for so long. Once we've settled into our new routine, I would like to volunteer at the Pantry as a way of giving back." I told her we would love to have her help, but only if she brought some of her kids along. I was only half kidding. 

Jane is just one of several clients you'll read about in this issue, each of whom show their appreciation for the support of the Food Pantry by volunteering.  I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.

Malcolm Frouman
President, LMHTF

I Community Spirit

Support for the Food Pantry comes from individuals, businesses and groups, both formal and informal.  One long-time group of supporters is The Partnership, an alliance of local citizens who created an easy way to regularly donate food items to the clients of the food pantry. Lisa Kinsman, a volunteer with the group, explains below how The Partnership works on behalf of its neighbors.

What is the history of The Partnership's involvement
with the Food Pantry?

The Partnership was started around 10 years ago by a former Larchmont resident, Andraya Dolbee. Her goal was community supporting community in a very hands-on way, without the need for big financial donations- something anyone could be involved in. She came up with the idea of asking people to donate one item a month, something extra that cannot be provided by the Food Pantry. These are regular grocery items, but can be luxuries to those in need. People who want to take part can ask to be put on our email list and every month they are notified of the item we are collecting. They then drop off their contribution at one of four homes in Larchmont/Mamaroneck in silver cans placed outside each home. A Partnership volunteer takes everything to the Food Pantry for distribution.

Lisa Kinsman (left) and Melanie Kraut with "Chicken Checks" 
Why does someone join The Partnership? 
It's very easy to participate, there's no big commitment time- or money-wise, but one donation a month makes a big difference. There is absolutely no pressure-the people who keep the collecting cans at their homes have no idea who or who hasn't participated any given month; if it isn't convenient, or possible, that's fine. The only time we ask for a monetary donation to The Partnership is in the spring when we make a monetary contribution to help buy chickens; we refer to these contributions as "Chicken Checks." That is something we could not collect, but the Food Pantry can buy inexpensively, purchasing a whole chicken for five dollars.

What types of things does The Partnership provide the Pantry?
Most things do not seem like luxuries. We have to think about the season, as the items are collected outside. Coffee, tea, cottage cheese, toothpaste, yogurt are a few things that come to mind. In February, we provided more of a treat (chocolate or cookies) but, in general, we try to ask for quite healthy items.

What other efforts does The Partnership promote
in addition to the Food Pantry?

In addition to the Partnership collection, around the holidays we help the Mamaroneck Child Development Center, which serves a similar community and is based in the same building as the Food Pantry. We ask our members if they wish to send a gift card of $25 for a store like Target, CVS, Kohls, etc., all places families are able to get to and where they would likely shop. This allows them to buy gifts or purchase other things they may need. We ask for no higher denominations as this makes it easier for the Center to distribute the gift cards though, of course, people can donate more than one $25 gift card if they like. Last year, we were able to donate gift cards worth over $1600. We collect anonymously so there is no pressure to participate, we ask people to mail them to one of our collection points or leave them in the mailbox when they bring the Partnership item that month.

Why does giving to the Food Pantry matter?
There are many families in need right here in our community who are struggling to get by. It is important that we help each other out-one day we may be walking in those shoes.  It also raises awareness in our own homes, with our children, that there are people close by who need a hand.

How can someone get involved after reading about The Partnership?  To be added to the monthly email list, contact Joan Capaldi at Partnership@LMFoodPantry.org. We would love additional participants. We would also be very grateful if any volunteers might be available once a month to take the items from the collection points to the Food Pantry. Members of The Partnership take turns so that it is not a big commitment-simply once or twice a year-but more names on the roster make the load even lighter and give us back-up if one of us can't make it. Please let Joan know if you are able to help us with this.  
I Receiving...and Giving

Volunteer Darlene Green 
Anyone who has participated in any of the four volunteer shifts that make up a biweekly distribution knows that it's an all-hands-on-deck approach. What they may not know, however, is how often they may be working alongside clients, many of whom give their time willingly to help feed approximately 1400 parents, children and seniors at each distribution. Some have volunteered for years, others for a short time. "I know what it's like to go hungry and go without," says Darlene, one client volunteer. "And with the Pantry, no one in need should be hungry because we have enough food to help everyone." A volunteer for eight years, Darlene says she first started volunteering because, "I'm retired and needed something to do. Now, I find I just really enjoy it. I have a lot of fun; I get to talk to people and listen to their stories. I've heard some interesting things people tell about their lives or their livelihood. I feel good about listening and being there to help others." 

Another client volunteer, Dave, says he first became a volunteer shortly after becoming a client. "I was having a difficult time finding work, so I figured why not start here and volunteer? I've always volunteered before, but now I was trying to re-establish myself in the workforce; doing volunteer work is a good place to start." He added, "I have been down many times in life for a variety of reasons and there were many helping hands. Some were volunteers helping through churches, social service organizations, etc. I have been given a lot and still have a ways to go. But I never forget about getting help and figured I could start by doing a little now." Like Darlene, Dave enjoys volunteering for the camaraderie at the pantry. The head of the United Way was on TV, he noted, asking for volunteers and was asked why she volunteers. She said, 'you get more than you give.' I work with nice people. It keeps me busy. And I know I am helping those in need." 
I Shop for a Cause  
Did you know you can give to the Food Pantry by shopping online?   
Register with Goodsearch (powered by Yahoo) and, then, when you use
the Goodsearch search engine to shop online at thousands of retailers,
a percentage of your purchase can support the Food Pantry.
Visit www.goodsearch.com for more information. Happy shopping! 

I We Love Food Drives
1,830 lbs! That's how much food
Ms. Hernandez's third-grade students from the Mamaroneck Avenue school collected to benefit the Food Pantry
Food drives sponsored by schools, classes, community groups, and troops are important to our organization because they help us keep costs down and provide additional items. Our clients love food drives, too, because it provides real variety in what they receive; for example, a cereal drive can supply a wide variety of choice, as opposed to the generic brands we can purchase.

Food drives can be
conducted for many reasons: to celebrate a birthday, recognize an anniversary, religious celebrations, honor a community service requirement or team-building for businesses big and small. No matter the reason, we want to work with you. Here's how to host a food drive that benefits the Food Pantry. Before you begin collecting, contact FoodDrive@LMFoodPantry.org or call 914-980-8853. You'll hear from our food drive guru, Sondra Levy, when the food is needed most, which items are in greatest demand, and the specifics on coordinating delivery (this must be scheduled in advance because the pantry is only open at particular times and volunteers have to be on hand to accept delivery).

The creativity of our supporters is always surprising. Some previous dynamic ideas for food-specific drives have included a breakfast drive (cereal and shelf-stable milk), a holiday dessert drive (pie or cookie mix at Thanksgiving), and a coffee break drive (tea, coffee and cocoa mix).  We would love to work with you to get a fun and meaningful drive underway.

Other Ways to Help

To donate, 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
need is cereal and shelf-stable milk. Visit our website
for more information on how to donate these items.