Once a month, starting on April 26th, participating community members will hang a bag with one dinner’s worth of specific groceries for a family of five on their front door. Neighborhood coordinators will collect the bags and bring them to the Hastings-on-Hudson food pantry. The list of groceries for each month’s dinner, along with a recipe for recipient families, will be posted on the Family-to-Family website: www.family-to-family.org. April’s groceries consist of two boxes of pasta, two jars of sauce, broccoli, a bulb of garlic and one loaf of fresh bread.
“The poor have such a hard time making ends meet here in Hastings partly because rents are so high,” says Donny Waterous, the Hastings-on-Hudson Youth Advocate and Pantry Director. “While some families are eligible for government aid, many are not and fall through the cracks. Family-to-Family’s programs ensure that our community food pantry stays stocked with food.”
“The DoorKnob Dinner Project is an exciting new program for us,” says Pam Koner, Family-to-Family’s founder. “We love the idea that a family with more provides one meal for a neighbor in need and even includes a recipe for the meal…which makes the act so personal and meaningful.”
In addition to “DoorKnob Dinners,” Family-to-Family operates “Kids Can!” and its flagship “Sponsor A Family” program in both Hastings and Dobbs Ferry. “Kids Can!,” an in-school monthly food drive, provides approximately 5,000 nonperishable food items to the Hastings and Dobbs Ferry food pantries annually. Through “Sponsor A Family,” 45 Hastings and Dobbs Ferry families receive either a monthly grocery gift card or a box of donated food from a local sponsor family.
Together, the three efforts are intended to significantly ease food insecurity for families in the Rivertowns struggling with poverty and hunger.
The event will take place Saturday, April 26. Neighbors who have signed up to be DoorKnob Dinner Donors will be hanging their DoorKnob Dinners on the outside doorknob of their front door (between 9 a.m. - Noon). Neighborhood coordinators (between 1-3 p.m.) will pick up the donated grocery bags and drive them down to the pantry in town. All members of the community are invited to the Hastings-on-Hudson food pantry, located in the Community Center, to help sort and shelve the “DoorKnob Dinners” between 4 and 6 p.m. that same day.
“Family-to-Family, with the support of Welch’s, is proud to add “DoorKnob Dinners” to the constellation of hunger relief efforts we offer here in the Rivertowns,” says Pam Koner, Executive Director of Family-to-Family. “In fact, Welch's support and partnership is helping us to expand our efforts to help families in all 50 states.”
“Welch’s shares Family-to-Family’s belief in the importance of family moments and connecting over a meal,” says Karen Mitchell, Director of Marketing at Welch’s. “We’re thrilled to be partners with Family-to-Family and help extend their terrific work to more communities.”
Family-to-Family was started nine years ago by Hastings-on-Hudson mom and entrepreneur Koner, who was heartsick after reading a newspaper article about the impoverished community of Pembroke, Illinois, one of the poorest towns in the nation. “We have to do something,” Koner told her two daughters. She convinced 16 neighbors to join her in buying and sending groceries to 17 needy Pembroke families. Since then, Family-to-Family has expanded its “Sponsor A Family” program to over 400 donating families who provide food and friendship to hungry families in 21 communities across the United States.
Family-to-Family, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit 501c3 hunger and poverty relief organization dedicated to providing food, personal hygiene products and other basic life essentials to American families struggling with the challenges of poverty. By connecting donors one-to-one with specific families in need, Family-to-Family brings a large and seemingly intractable problem – poverty – into personal focus, making proactive, attainable results possible…one family at a time.
Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Welch’s is owned by 1,000 family farmers across America and in Ontario, Canada, who make up this cooperative and who grow the delicious and inherently healthy Concord grapes used in Welch’s juices and other grape-based products. Welch’s is committed to research and development that will meet the growing demand for products that address consumers’ health and nutrition needs. Welch’s products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 40 countries around the globe. Welch’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Female/Disabled/Veterans.