The Rosendale Pantry was originally built in 2005 as their Eagle Scout projects by Alex Hornbeck and Scout Gerhart in 2005. Alex Wynkoop, 17, of Tillson Troop 17 will be working to kick up the interior of the eight-by-20-foot pantry a notch or two. “After years of the Boy Scouts working hand-in-hand with the local food pantries, it became clear how much help they really need,” Wynkoop explained.
He will empty the pantry of its food and shelves to paint the walls and ceiling. Then he plans to add storage in tight spaces, additional lighting and a small filing cabinet. The Kingston High school junior soon-to-be-Eagle Scout said that he chose the Rosendale Pantry as his project because he felt it needed the help and would benefit the community the most.
Wynkoop’s Eagle Scout project will conclude with a food drive to restock and fill the new shelves of the food pantry. “The food drive will be one of the work days so the public can see our progress,” he said. “All are welcome to come and help, and monetary, food, or material donations will gladly be accepted on any of our days.”
Pantry director Nora Snyder noted the facility was open twice per week, and families can return on a monthly basis if they need to. “We distribute non-perishables, toiletries, meat, and bread in amounts that are according to family size,” she said. “We used to have a busy season, but we don’t any more. It’s always busy.”
Snyder said the shifting economy had something to do with the high public response, “We don’t feel pinched so much as we feel super-busy and very needed,” she said. “The community response is and always has been incredibly supportive. Local churches, community and school groups, and individuals give generously. That is what keeps us in business, along with an amazing staff of volunteers. I don’t feel like donations have been at all adversely affected by the economy. In fact, I see more awareness and compassion than ever before.”
The pantry relies on donations and food drives to fulfill the needs of the 95 families it currently serves.
“We do good at food drives,” said Snyder. “We get multiple car loads, and Emmanuel’s gives us cases of stuff at the end.”
“They pick a day and give us a list of things we need,” confirmed Emmanuel Gerondaras, owner of the market. “We post it for customers. Sometimes they set up a booth outside, and the customers would come in and get the items they are looking for. At the end of this drive we end up donating cases of what we have in our back room. It could be anywhere from three to four cases, to a couple dozen cases.”
Gerondaras said that his customers were generous and supportive of the various food drives at his market. “We have to do our share. There are a lot of needy people.”
Foods that Snyder would like to see lining the shelves right away include: canned or dried fruit, apple sauce, canned tuna, canned salmon, canned chicken, canned ham, juice, rice, peanut butter, jelly, cold and hot cereal, and toilet taper. The pantry could also use: pasta and pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, canned vegetables, potato flakes, beans (either canned or dried) canned soups, stews, chili, macaroni and cheese, Spaghetti-Os, ramen noodles, stuffing mix, crackers, muffin mixes, pancake mix, maple syrup, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, maxipads, tampons and disposable razors.
Donations can be brought to the pantry at 45 James Street, Rosendale during open hours, Mondays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon. Or they can be put in the drop boxes at the Rosendale Library, High Falls Co-op, Rosendale post office, or Tillson General Store. For more information, visit rosendalefoodpantry.org.
-- Carrie Jones Ross