Category Archives for Volunteer News

Thank You

LetterCarrierFoodDrive2016

This year’s Letter Carriers Food Drive was a huge success. At last count, over 4,000 lbs of food were donated to our pantry and we still have a large number of donations to sort and count.

Thank you to the residents of Depew for your donations, the letter carriers of the Depew post office for collecting the donations and to the many volunteers who helped process the donations.

Our pantry shelves are now well stocked with much more in reserve. The individuals and families the we serve have already benefited from this food drive and will continue to benefit from it for some time to come.

Thank You!!

LetterCarrierFoodDrive2016

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we want to take this opportunity to thank all of the women, men and young adults who volunteer in our pantry.

Without you, we would not exist.

A Year In Review

As we begin a new year here at the pantry, we want to take a moment to reflect on the previous year and acknowledge everyone who has helped bring us through it.

New Beginnings

At this time a year ago, our pantry was facing an uncertain future. With eviction from our Gould Ave. location looming, we were unsure as to where we would call home. Through what some would call divine intervention, we were rescued by the generosity of The Vine Wesleyan church. With much hard work and well over $9,000 in donations from the church membership, The Vine renovated their unused four-car garage into our new home. Thank you to the Vine family for providing our clients with a bright, warm and easily accessible facility.

New Partnerships

This past year, we reached out to the other food pantries in our area, renewing old partnerships and establishing new ones. Working together with St. Martha’s and Trinity on such projects as the mail handlers’ food drive and the food express, we were all able to learn, share and cooperate for the benefit of all of our clients. We look forward to growing those relationships in the new year.

New Partners

Over the course of this past year, we reached out to several new business and community partners in an effort to supplement the non-perishable foods we distribute to our clients. From fresh vegetables provided by a local Girl Scout troop and several local church gardens, to day old bakery products from Tops, Panera Bread and Costanzo’s bakery. From freshly prepared ground beef, chicken and pork from the Deli Shop to frozen meats from Target. Without our new partners, we would not have been able to provide a wholesome and nutritious variety of food to our clients.

New Opportunities

Throughout 2015, we took every opportunity we could to share the plight of our clients with the people in our community. Speaking before such organizations as DUCA and the Lancaster / Depew Chamber of Commerce, we were able to reach many people and businesses. In the new year, we look forward to turning that dialog into new opportunities for the pantry.

New Neighbors

With moving into a new building came new neighbors. With new neighbors came wonderful gifts for our clients. Two annual events that our clients are most thankful for are our Thanksgiving basket distribution and our children’s Christmas party. As in years past, we are thankful for the generosity of the Vine Wesleyan church for providing baskets of food for each of our clients so they can cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This year also provided an opportunity to meet our new neighbors, Restoration Church Twin Village and Centerpointe Community Church, as they joined with the Vine Wesleyan church to provide the children of our clients with a wonderful Christmas party. We look forward to working with our old and new neighbors in the coming year.

New Faces

This past year, we were overwhelmed with the many new faces we have seen helping us inside and outside the pantry. Many new volunteers have signed on and assisted in food distribution, stocking shelves, food pickup and behind the scene support. We have also been fortunate to benefit from the generosity of scores of people outside of the pantry. The annual mail handlers’ and Depew firefighter food drives. The Halloween and Stuff-A-Bus food drives organized by the students and staff of the Depew School District. The many food drives held at local businesses and organizations. The many faces that go into organizing these food drives and the many faces that contribute to these food drives. Each and every item distributed to our clients has been touched by so many generous and hard-working people. We look forward to see these same faces as well as many new ones in the coming year.

New Choices

Last year, we began the process to move our pantry to the Client Choice model of food distribution. We feel that doing this will move us closer to our goal of providing nutritious food to all of our clients while treating them with dignity and respect. This year, client choice will become a reality.

New Challenges

Unfortunately, we anticipate the difficulties experienced by the community that we serve to continue to grow. Each day, we see more new clients come to our pantry in search of food. Single people, families, the elderly. Hunger shows on each of their faces. As we address this growing need, we need to look for new sources of food and funding. We need to build new relationships with our community. We need to enlist new volunteers. These are the new challenges that we will face this new year.

New Year

Looking back, what an exciting and wonderful year we have had at the pantry! We want to thank everyone for the support and generosity you have provided to our clients. Looking forward to the new year, together, we will continue to fight hunger in our community.

Lancaster Depew FCU Holds Food Drive

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Recently, a food drive was held at the Lancaster Depew Federal Credit Union to benefit our pantry. We are so grateful to Susan Mecca, Brian Stuman and Emma Smalley for coordinating the food drive and for the generous donations that were made. Over 500 non-perishable food items were collected which will be enough to supplement over 15 families in the Depew area for a month. Thank you to the Lancaster Depew Federal Credit Union and to everyone who donated.

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Depew High School Leo Club Annual Food Drive

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Thank you to the Depew High School Leo Club for the 500 lbs of food they collected during their annual food drive to benefit our pantry. It is so wonderful to have such community minded young people in our community.

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New Pantry Hours

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Beginning on September 10th, we will be expanding our open hours for client food distribution to include Thursday evenings from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. We feel that there is an unmet need for existing and potentially new clients who work during the day and / or on Saturday who have difficulty picking up food during our current open hours. Our plan is to distribute a note to all of our existing clients to let them now of this additional open time. We will also be advertising our expanded hours to the community.

Thursday nights may be a little slow to start but we see this also as an opportunity to bring in new volunteers during this time to orient them in what we do and to be able to also have some slow time to restock shelves, break down boxes and perform other duties in the pantry that are difficult to accomplish during our more busy open hours.

Please consider volunteering during this time if you have found yourself unable to volunteer during our existing open hours because of your schedule. You can call me at 400-4920 or e-mail me at [email protected] for more information.

Announcing New Shut-In Program

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In conjunction with Meals on Wheels, we have stepped forward and taken over the responsibility of providing supplemental food to Meals on Wheels recipients in our service area who are not able to leave their home. Meals on Wheels provides two meals a day, Monday through Friday, to many people. However, some of their clients are not able to leave their home so they are left without food on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

That is where we come into the picture. Our responsibility will be the following:

  • Register eligible clients with our pantry
  • Deliver food to those clients
We will need volunteers to serve in both of these capacities. Rich Dukat, one of our volunteers who currently serves as a primary merchant food pick-up person, has stepped forward to lead this initiative. If you would like to learn more and hopefully volunteer, please contact Rich at 716-681-4097 or e-mail him at [email protected] We have already committed to this program. We need volunteers to step forward to help.

Next food order placed for delivery on 8/11

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Our next food order has been made. You can view it here.

It is scheduled for delivery on 8/11 @ 9:00 AM. Even though we were a little disappointed that there was no 10.5 oz soup available, we are happy to say that we are getting the following items that we don’t usually get:

  • Eggs (45 dozen small)
  • Colby Cheese (3 x 8lb cases)
  • Produce Variety Bag (30 x 5lb)
The produce variety bags contain potatoes, carrots and radishes!

We are now registered at AmpleHarvest.org

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There are millions of people across the country that rely on local food pantries to supplement their food needs. Your next door neighbor may be going to a food pantry and you don’t even know it. The food that we distribute at our pantry comes from several sources. Our main source is from the Food Bank of Western New York. We also receive food directly from food drives, from merchants and from people just walking in the door with a bag of food they want to donate. However, nearly all of the food we receive is packaged, canned and non-perishable. We don’t have the facilities to handle fresh food. The primary goal at our pantry is to treat our clients with respect and dignity. How can we do that when you see a client week after week and you can only give them a bag of canned goods when you know they deserve fresh, healthy food just like those of us who can afford to go to a store and buy it?

Now we can provide that fresh food. Now YOU can provide that fresh food.

Our pantry has registered with a program called AmpleHarvest.org It is a program that connects backyard gardeners with local food pantries. Once this connection is made, a gardener can arrange with the pantry a time and day that is best for both to drop off just harvested food so it can quickly be distributed without the need for special handling at the pantry.

Please take a moment to view this video. If you have a backyard food garden, please consider registering and connecting with a pantry close to you so you can donate your excess harvest. If you don’t have a garden, please share this program with someone who does.

New eligibility guidelines

Eligibility guidelines 2015-16

We have received new income eligibility guidelines from the food bank. Please refer to the new guidelines going forward.

Click here to view the new guidelines.