Rye Y Members and Camp Families Fill the Shelves for Bread of Life

Grace at Camp Food Drive cropped[August 5, 2015] It may be hard to believe, but there is hunger and food insecurity in Rye. Just ask the 200 residents who visit the Bread of Life food pantry every week. When Sue Wexler, Bread of Life’s community outreach director, contacted the Rye Y in mid-July, the pantry’s shelves were running extremely low.

Within two weeks, the Y had marshaled the resources of its Togetherhood program and its summer camp, reaching out to hundreds of members and camp families and organizing a two-day food drive. By the end of the project, held on July 30 and 31, campers, counselors and other Y members had contributed four SUV-loads of non-perishable items.

Togetherhood co-chair Katherine Doyle remarked “It was gratifying to witness the generosity of our members. I was especially touched by the children, who were so proud to earn a bead for their camp achievement necklace by helping others.”

“We feed over 9,000 hungry Westchester residents each week and that would not be possible without support from local businesses and wonderful organizations like the YMCA,” Wexler commented. “This food drive is a great example of how a group of concerned citizens can really make a difference when they come together to help others.  One out of five Westchester residents is hungry; this initiative and others like it can help combat hunger right in our own backyard.”

Togetherhood is a national YMCA social responsibility initiative that engages Y members in community service. Since its formation in May 2014, the Rye Y Togetherhood Committee has organized five projects involving 100 members, not including the food drive. The Rye Y’s summer camp serves 700 children, ages 3-15, weekly. Through a range of traditional and specialty camp programs, campers make friends, learn new skills and build confidence.

Bread of Life meets the urgent food needs of underfunded and undersupplied pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens throughout southern Westchester County. The organization serves 200 residents every week at its Rye food pantry alone and thousands more at other facilities.

For more information about Togetherhood, contact Denise Woodin, the Rye YMCA’s Director of Community Impact and Social Responsibility, at 914-967-6363, ext. 101 or denise@ryeymca.org.  For more information about Bread of Life, contact Sue Wexler at sfwexler@aol.com.

Camper at Food Drive 7-31-15  Emma Freeman at Food Drive 7-31-15-RR