Once a month, the Program Committee of the Pawling Resource Center meets to plan and discuss the progress of services that will better the lives of those in need in the greater Pawling community. Meetings are led by Executive Director, Terry Ariano, and include members of the Board, staff, and volunteers.
Among the many topics for discussion at the recent April meeting was the way in which transportation services, one of the PRC’s signature programs, could improve food access, to both Hannaford’s in Pawling and the Resource Centers’ Food Pantry. The PRC Food Pantry is another key program which provides a life line to nutritious meal planning for families and individuals. The newest service reported by Terry was the partnership forged between the PRC and The Grand, a nursing and rehabilitative facility in Pawling. This is designed to utilize The Grand’s van service to assist with bringing residents of The Hamlet, recently opened low income senior housing, to Hannaford’s and the Food Pantry twice each, monthly. Terry held a meeting with the folks at The Hamlet, in order to present the program details. Many of the residents at The Hamlet are without transportation to vital services at this time.
These meetings also provide statistical information to the committee, which allows this group to monitor the success of the various programs. This month, Terry let everyone know that use of the Food Pantry and Homebound delivery services were up, significantly. She was also able to report that the Center was the recipient of food from two major food drives. The first drive was conducted by the Pawling Boy Scouts, who picked up, delivered and shelved 1900 pounds of food items. The second drive was conducted by John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, whose Principle, Father Mark G. Vaillancourt, is a Pawling resident. Driver Bob Knapp, also a Pawling resident, delivered 1600 pounds of food from this drive to the PRC. Additionally, Babies R Us donated fourteen large boxes of brand new baby clothes. These items are quickly reallocated to families who can best use
Discussions also range from finding ways to get needed hospital beds delivered for community members who are recovering at home, to additional outreach programs that could be financed through targeted grant writing.
The monthly Program Committee meetings serve to propel the PRC’s services into the community in order to reach those who need them. In spite of the quiet work this organization does, these meetings provide lively discussions centered around planning services which are then carried out by a stalwart group of doers.
The Pawling Resource Center is always seeking volunteer drivers to assist with transporting folks to medical appointments or food shopping. Volunteers are always welcome to assist in other ways, as well. If interested, one may contact Terry Ariano at the Center at 845-855-3459.