Religions and Spirituality

St. John’s Food Pantry Looking for More Clients

Food pantry director Nancy Gagne and her team of volunteers Credits: Bob Dumas
Food pantry director Nancy Gagne, with pantry warehouse volunteer Mario Carnevale Credits: Bob Dumas
The pantry has plenty of food; it just needs more clients. Credits: Bob Dumas

MAHOPAC, N.Y. - An important resource in Mahopac is being underutilized and its organizers want to get the word out.

The food pantry at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church offers free bags of food every Friday from 10 a.m. to noon to anyone and everyone who shows up. There is no need to show ID or proof of residence. When clients arrive, all they have to do is sign in and tell the volunteers how many people are in their family. The volunteers will help them gather up the groceries and bring them out to their car.

But Nancy Gagne, director of the St. John’s food pantry, said lately there has been a drop-off in the number of clients who have been coming to its doors on Friday mornings and she’s not sure why.

Sign Up for E-News

“There has been a downward trend in the number of people,” she said. “During the winter and Christmas time, we do about 125 families a week. Now, we are doing around 60. Summers are always slower, but this one seems particularly slow. It could be they are working now because they found part-time jobs [for the summer] or maybe it is because we are open only on Fridays and it’s hard for them to get here. I’ve also heard some say they only have one car and that can make it difficult to get here.”

Gagne said the St. John’s food pantry, which got its start back in the ‘90s, gets a monthly delivery from the regional food bank and volunteers go and pick it up from a delivery site in Brewster.

“Yesterday, we got some nice fresh vegetables, some carrots and potatoes—whatever the food bank has available,” she said.

There are also area stores, Gagne said, that donate to the cause, including Somers Hot Bagels, Rammi’s Bagel, Café Piccolo, Leaf & Java, and Dunkin’ Donuts (Mahopac), and it is starting to work with the Red Mills Market. It also works with ShopRite with the help of the Carmel Rotary.

“We manage it by family size by separating [the groceries] into bags,” she said. “So, the food goes out that way; the bigger your family, the more food you get. We pre-make the bags ahead of time. The clients come into the pantry and sign in. They just have to come to the door. There are no requirements. No ID checks.”

Gagne said everyone is offered fresh milk, a loaf of bread and some type of frozen product.

“It could be fish or meat, whatever we are able to get from the food bank. There are also canned soups, pasta, tomato sauce and a variety of dried goods available,” she said. “We are overseen by the state and have to follow state guidelines.”

About 15 to 20 volunteers gather at the church each Friday morning to help out.

“They are very hardworking and very dedicated,” Gagne said.

She explained that technically the food pantry and St. John the Evangelist Church are separate entities but, she noted, the parish members are very generous and mindful of the needs of the pantry.

“At Christmas, we try to [donate] blankets, scarves and hats through the parish,” she said. “At Easter, they fill beautiful bags with candy and other items.”

Now, all the pantry and its team of steadfast volunteers need is more clients.

“We are good with the amount of food we have, the number of volunteers. We need clients,” she said.

Gagne said the food pantry is in discussions with county officials about how home deliveries could be facilitated.

“It is something we may want to consider in the future,” she said.

 The church/food pantry is located at 221 E. Lake Blvd., Mahopac.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Old? Sick? Disabled? Die Broke!

Immediately after passing the $1.5 trillion tax reform bill last December—further enriching the “one-percenters” and exploding the national debt—House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke to a throng of fellow conservative legislators in the U.S. Capitol rotunda as they congratulated themselves on their dubious achievement. 

“House Republicans will aim to cut spending on ...

You’ll Get a Kick out of Musical Classic ‘Anything Goes’

I’ve loved Broadway musicals since I was smaller than a piano bench. That’s one reason I enjoy writing about local productions in this space. The more people who go to musicals, the happier it makes me.

I didn’t realize how old-fashioned about musicals I could be, though, until my wife Elyse and I at long last saw “Wicked.” It only took us 15 years to get there.

A (Burnt) Toast to Love and Marriage, on the Rocks

In its first few moments, sitcom-style comedy “Clever Little Lies” grabs audience attention right away, with one of the most revealing wardrobe changes you’ll ever see on stage. It is done modestly but just provocatively enough to elicit vocal appreciation from amused patrons.

The fast-paced play, starring Richard Kline of TV comedy classic “Three’s ...

The Adventures of Superdog

I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for help, and then opened the door when the responders arrived.

Honestly, though, it’s ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Carmel Cinema 8, Carmel

Screening: “Suicide: The Ripple Effect”

Health & Wellness

Fri, July 27, 12:00 PM

Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park, Carmel

Putnam County 4-H Fair

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education Food & Drink


Sat, July 28, 10:00 AM

Hubbard Lodge, Cold Spring

PCDOH Free Rabies Clinic

Health & Wellness

Three from Houlihan Lawrence Named ‘America’s Best Real Estate Agents’

July 20, 2018

John Kincart, Douglas Dill and Annette Cicinelli have been named among America’s most productive sales associates as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents, the newly issued ranking report produced by REAL Trends and sponsored by Zillow Group. They are now members of the “America’s Best Real Estate Agents.”

REAL Trends America’s Best Real ...