Welcome to the Spring 2017 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 2017  

I Teaching Compassion   

It's a Saturday morning and dozens of local residents are lined up with their shopping bags and carts, waiting for a 36-foot-long refrigerated truck to pull up by Columbus Park in Mamaroneck. It's the Mobile Food Pantry, a program of free food made available by Food Bank for Westchester and provided by the Food Pantry to local residents to supplement the Pantry's regular, twice-monthly food distributions.  
Also waiting for the truck to arrive is a team of local volunteer families. They arrange several long tables alongside the truck and set out thousands of pounds of nutritious food. These Saturday sessions have become a great way for parents and their kids to perform community service together. Each family is assigned a food item to offer the folks who move along the array of tables, choosing from a large assortment of meats, dairy products, bread and other baked goods, and a huge selection of fresh vegetables and fruit. Parents and their kids bag the selections at each "station."  
A recent Mobile Food Pantry team of volunteers

The Families Among the several families that regularly volunteer are Sally and Paul Cantwell and their 11-year-old son Findlay. Sally says, "You never know who in our community needs help. Sharing the Mobile Food Pantry with our children helps them understand, in a small way, that seeing who needs help can be surprising and that giving out basic food supplies can be very humbling and thought provoking." Ab bey and Steve Moses and their daughters Sydney, 15, and Maxine, 13 are also regulars. Abbey says, "Volunteering teaches about compas sion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude, and community responsibility. Children who volunteer are more likely to continue doing so as adults. My kids realize that small things they do can make a big difference." Wanda Taylor and her sons Jacob, 14, and Caleb, 17, have been volunteering for almost 3 years. Wanda says, "The Food Pantry has offered our family an opportunity to work together in service to our community while in fellowship with other families. Volunteering has instilled lessons of selflessness and giving that will remain with my sons a lifetime."

Thanks to the caring help of our volunteer families, a typical Mobile Food Pantry will provide food for over a hundred households representing several hundred individuals, including children and senior citizens.
Families helping families.

Malcolm Frouman
President, LMHTF
I Healthy Help 

The mission of the Larchmont Mamaroneck Food Pantry is to provide healthy and nutritious food to every household in need in our community. In each of our two monthly distributions we always include fresh eggs and bread, some fresh fruits and vegetables, at least one fresh or frozen protein source, and the following non-perishable staples: pasta, rice, dry cereal, canned tuna, peanut butter, canned or dried beans and dried or shelf-stable milk. In recent years, when our fund-raising permitted, we added an increasing amount of fresh and frozen protein sources, including chicken parts, ground turkey, fish fillets, sliced or shredded cheese and yogurt to our regular distributions. At holiday times we include turkeys, chickens or hams. In addition, our partnership with the Food Bank for Westchester has enabled us to increase our selection of nutritious fresh fruit and vegetables.

Green Thumb Bags
The Food Bank for Westchester serves over 300 community partners, including The Larchmont Mamaroneck Food Pantry. In addition to the fresh produce we usually include, one of our monthly distributions now includes an extra bag of fresh fruit and vegetable produce provided by The Food Bank, which we distribute to our large-family clients. The Food Bank calls these extra bags of produce its "Green Thumb" bags, providing us with 250 bags every month. Each bag contains seasonal fruits and vegetable items that The Food Bank purchases from local New York State farmers and food brokers. The bag also includes a flyer, in English and Spanish, with healthy recipes to accompany the fruit and vegetable items, along with guidelines for the shelf life and safe storage of the items. A recent Green Thumb bag contained apples, oranges, peppers, and eggplants. Our thanks to Food Bank for this opportunity to add to our mission of proving nutritious food for so many clients. --Doris Block

I The Pantry's Youth Movement  

Community Synagogue of
Rye Volunteers 
It's Tuesday afternoon at the Food Pantry and that mea ns lifting, sorting and "assembly- line style" packing of lots and lots of gree n and blue bags. Who helps with all the heavy carting and sorting in o rde r to get ready for distribution? We are extremely fortunate to have a steady and enthusiastic supply of dedicated young volunteers. Every other Tuesday afternoon at the Food Pantry, you will find students from Mamaroneck, Rye Neck and The French American School, all vigorously stuffing bags alongside young volunteers and families
from local religious and service organizations.Tenth grader Claire Capaldi runs one of the two Food Pantry Clubs at MHS with her friend Lizzie Kaplan. She has been a volunteer since she was a "kid," but is currently enjoying taking on a leadership role by managing a Facebook page that coordinates over 90 student volunteers.

Jessica Katz
Commitment Jessica Katz originally got involved with the Food Pantr y four years ago by volunteering alongsid e her mom. Katz finds that volunteering just a couple of hours a week "has such a meaningful impact on the local community." Katz exudes commitment as she explains her job and responsibilities as the manager of the la rge produce line. One of the younger volunteers is B en Mayer, a new recruit who is working along side his peers from The Community Synagogue of Rye. Mayer says he is volunteering to "learn lessons ab out being nice and generous and that everything is not just about money."
Jack Silverman

Heavy Lifting As the packing shift winds down, 11th grader Ja ck Silverman arr ives while young volunteers hurriedly sweep up fallen bits of lettuce and wipe down tables in order to prepare for the distribution crew. Silverman, still in his track-team uniform, somehow manages to find time inbetween sports and a demanding academic load to volunteer every other Tuesday, distributing food and helping clients carry bags filled with groceries to the street. Silverman has literally been doing the heavy lifting for over four y ears. He initially started working with his older brother Harry, who is currently away at college but returns for holiday guest appearances.
                                                   --Olivia Bridges

I One Good Deed Becomes Another 

For the past few years, the Chatsworth Avenue Elementary School  teachers have encouraged their first-grade students to do "good deeds" for others so they can donate the coins they receive for their efforts to the Food Pantry. During the school year, a Hunger Task Force representative speaks to each participating class, thanking the students for their hard work and explaining how the coins they earn can add up to make a real difference to people in their community. The program was organized by first-grade teacher Sima Friedman. These young students are learning some valuable lessons early in life, and we are so proud of their "good deeds." Last year, the first-grade students raised $620.52!
                                                                                --Catherine Carne

Sima Friedman, upper right, and her first-grade class.
Upper left: Teacher's Aide Jamie Ianniello

I Who Are Our Clients?     

Our previous newsletter offered sketches of several Food Pantry clients, including a Guatemalan family of five and an 83-year-old female African-American retiree. Here's a profile of another client. His name has been changed to respect his privacy.

Frank, 55, lives in Mamaroneck and has been coming to the Food Pantry for about four years. Frank grew up in Harbor City, California, attending the local high school. When he was 25, he met a woman from Mamaroneck who was visiting Harbor City. Smitten, he followed her East and they eventually married under one of the gazebos in Larchmont's Manor Park. The marriage lasted four years. Frank and his wife had a daughter, now 23, who lives with her mother and is in a Master's program at Lehman College.  

The Struggle Over the years, Frank has worked for Post Marine, a local boating-supply company, owned a painting company, worked in construction, and "just done odd jobs that would come along," he says. After his marriage ended, Frank began a long struggle with alcoholism. Before becoming a client of the Food Pantry, he had been receiving welfare and food stamps. These services were cut off when he stopped attending his alcoholism support program. Frank says he completely stopped drinking four years ago and plans to reapply for assistance.

Frank lives in a one-room apartment on Mamaroneck Avenue with a shared bathroom. He covers his $85-a-week rent by doing odd jobs for his landlord. "I've never been homeless," he says. A recent serious knee injury has him on crutches and he is receiving rehab in White Plains through Medicaid. In addition to the help from the Food Pantry, Frank also receives food from St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Mamaroneck and "lives on a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."

"Without the Pantry, I don't know what I would do," Frank says. "I try to make the food last. The Pantry really helps me out a lot."
--Malcolm Frouman

I The "Egg Lady" Retires 

Yvonne Lumsden, one of our longest-serving volunteers, retired from the Pantry this month. In 1992, she and her husband Bill answered the call from their pastor, William Shillady, at Mamaroneck United Methodist Church, to join him and others in developing a food pantry that would serve residents in Larchmont and Mamaroneck. The Lumsdens started out as packers and cardboard-box crunchers on Tuesday nights, eventually moving to the Wednesday-morning distribution shift. There, Yvonne was
Yvonne Lumsden
soon known to all as the "egg lady." She and Bill both enjoyed the interactions with the clients, who she describes as "smiling, happy and thankful."

Yvonne also remembers the devastation brought by the 2007 flood in Mamaroneck. Although the basement pantry suffered 7 feet of water and renovations of the building took at least a year to complete, the Food Pantry endured.

Her beloved husband died in 2012, but Yvonne kept volunteering at the Pantry and beyond. One of her favorite pastimes is being part of her church's "Sew 'n So's," a group of women who sew for others. She will be missed by many Pantry volunteers and clients. Yvonne, thank you for your many years of service and Happy Retirement! --Catherine Carney

I We Love Food Drives 

The Food Pantry purchases a large percentage of the food it distributes with funds from generous donors. In addition, the Pantry benefits from numerous food drives conducted by many groups in our community. Each year, teachers and parents contact us about collecting food for a drive. Indeed, many young people first learn about the Pantry by participating in food drives at their schools. Every school in the Mamaroneck and Rye Neck districts participates in a variety of food collections. Central School donates cereal during "Walk to School Week" and
Rye Neck High School students
the Chatsworth Avenue School has its annual "Turkey Shoot," where each grade is assigned a specific food item. The Murray Avenue School has participated with "County Harvest," which connects food donors with agencies like the Food Pantry. The Mamaroneck Avenue School Phys Ed department, the FE Bellows Elementary School, and the Rye Neck Middle School all have big holiday food drives.

The Hommocks Middle School donates food from its community garden and also conducts food drives. Mamaroneck High School runs drives throughout the year, including on the Martin Luther King Day of Service, and on other days through the Food Pantry Clubs and Future Business Leaders of America. The Rye Neck High School Student Senate holds a competition among all of the homerooms, resulting in a tremendous amount of food each year. In addition, the French American School, Westchester Day School, Saints John and Paul and many other private schools in the area have several food drives throughout the year, both within the schools and at local supermarkets. --Sondra Levy

Interested in organizing a drive? Contact us: FoodDrive@lmfoodpantry.org

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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