As we approach the twelve-month mark of Covid-19 in America and all the economic and emotional trauma that it has wrought, the Trustees and Executive Director of the Pawling Resource Center remain thankful for the continuing generosity and kindness within the Pawling Community for its neighbors in need.
The numbers of new families who required PRC services this past year (85 in all) is a testament to how difficult this time of economic turmoil and uncertainty has been. All families, children and seniors who sought help through the PRC’s signature programs received assistance. Executive Director Terry Ariano was instrumental in developing safety protocols that made it possible for the Food Pantry to remain open, providing 269 households with nutritional ingredients for healthy meal preparation.
With many seniors staying home in order to remain safe, the PRC scaled up its shopping and delivery services from Hannaford’s and the PRC Food Pantry, provided by a cadre of volunteers. Since the pandemic began, groceries were delivered 330 times, representing a six-fold increase over that of last year.
The holidays are always a time when members of the Pawling Community open their hearts to those who are struggling to celebrate in any meaningful way. Seventy-six families were “adopted,” through the Adopt-A-Family program, and an additional 6 families received gifts this year, with many new adopter families looking to help this holiday season. Ms. Ariano reported that, “we had more willing to adopt than families signing up to be adopted.” All who expressed an interest in adopting were able to help in some way, if not with an assigned family to buy for, then by supplying additional gifts for teens, or generic gifts for the additional families who walk in too late to be adopted.
As we enter this new year, hope for relief from the pandemic remains high. Yet, a quick resolution remains elusive, with Covid-19 infection rates continuing to rise in Pawling. As always, the PRC, with the support of the community, will remain vigilant to the needs of the many who continue to experience food insecurity and economic hardship.