MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force celebrated its 20th anniversary by mobilizing 100 of its volunteers to distribute groceries to about 1,200 people this week.
“Our story is about a very caring community coming together to support our neighbors who are less fortunate,” said Melinda Lehman, president of the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force. “We have been blessed by the generosity of scores of local volunteers and donors over the years.”
The food pantry's story began in 1992 when citizens, community organizations and houses of worship recognized the growing need for food assistance in Larchmont and Mamaroneck. A coalition of 25 volunteers served food to 232 people from 93 households in January 1993 from the CAP Center basement.
Since that time, the need has risen 500 percent, according to the food pantry. Luckily, it has expanded its operations and now serves on average five times as many individuals and four times as many households. More than 1,000 volunteers sorted, packed and distributed more than 171,000 pounds of food in 2012.
“We have tripled our refrigeration and freezer space and doubled our storage area, which means we can offer cheese, yogurt and two frozen meats, like fish and ground beef, instead of relying on canned goods high in salt and preservatives,“ Lehman said.
The increased storage space and volume of volunteers allows the coalition to offer higher quality and healthier food than most food pantries, said Mary Davis, who has been a volunteer for 20 years and heads the Tuesday bag packing shift.
“As the need has grown, so has the Food Pantry,” Lehman said.
The Food Pantry is open twice a month on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
“Each time we are open over 100 volunteers unload trucks, pack bags of groceries, and distribute those bags to clients in 24 hours,” Lehman said. “Many of our clients volunteer, and we also count on students, family groups, adults and seniors. The Food Pantry is a happy place to be, with everyone pitching in to help in any way they can.”
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