OSSINING, N.Y. – Kate Permut knows that while Ossining and Briarcliff may play each other in football, when it comes to feeding the hungry the two communities are always on the same team.
Permut, vice president of the Ossining Food Pantry, sees more than 200 volunteers come together each week to help more than 200 families in Ossining and Briarcliff Manor. Dozens of organizations within both communities help stock the pantry at Ossining’s Trinity Church for distribution on Thursday evenings and Friday mornings. The non-profit organization also delivers food throughout the week on an emergency basis and to those who cannot make during distribution times.
“We have so many great supporters in these communities. We are very lucky to have this kind of support,” Permut said. “We have a tremendous need for this and every week our volunteers come through.”
The Ossining Food Pantry spends roughly $300,000 each year and President Marty Engelhardt said the organization ensures that every dollar is spent to help those in need.
“We want to give back as much as we can,” he said. “It’s a wonderful testament to the community that we live in that we get this much help from so many people. So every dollar is expended for the purpose for which it was intended.”
The Ossining Food Pantry is hosting a celebration fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Rose Cliff in Briarcliff Manor to honor its 24th year of serving the community. Approximately 90 percent of the group’s funds come from individuals. Officials with the Food Pantry are hoping to receive $30,000 during the celebration.
“Ossining and Briarcliff are wonderful communities,” Engelhardt said. “Our need here is always great and it’s tremendous that we have so many who are able to give each year. I’m really looking forward to the celebration because it really has been a wonderful trip so far.”
Volunteer and Secretary Chris Cafarelli said the organization is also in need of volunteers.
“I think giving back is the best thing,” Cafarelli said. “I’ve been really blessed in my life and I think it’s great to be able to help other people. There’s no other feeling in the world quite like it.”
Those looking to donate or offer volunteer services are asked to visit the Ossining Food Pantry’s website. Residents in need of assistance at any time should call (914) 762-5510.