We are so excited to share the great news of the latest collaborative effort with our community! The Arc of Delaware County has recently begun partnering with the dedicated volunteers at the Walton food pantry to coordinate its operations!
When we heard the news that John and Linda Clark were looking to retire from their volunteer role as coordinators and the food pantry was in need of assistance, we saw the potential for a fantastic opportunity for the people we support. We began having conversations with John and Linda, a wonderful and dedicated couple, who were all too happy to have us on board and to assist in the transition of their changing role as volunteers. The Arc of Delaware County decided to step in, to work hand in hand with the food pantry. John and Linda will remain as volunteers, guiding The Arc in its new role. The Walton food pantry has supported the community for approximately 40 years, according to John.
The people supported by The Arc of Delaware County treasure the opportunity to assist those in need. The community is important to all of us and when we can lend a helping hand we jump on the chance. The first step for The Arc was to see if the volunteer role was a way to put the people we support first, providing an opportunity to express citizenship, human rights, abilities, respect, dignity, and independence. Collaborating at the food pantry was a perfect fit!
With November being National Disability Employment Awareness month we are focused on this chance for people to learn new skills. It will open new opportunities that can, and will, easily translate to employment opportunities within the community. Most of all, for those that have already been volunteering, the feeling that comes from helping those in need has been priceless!
Carol Moore, Life Coach 3 at Resources for Industry (RFI), shared that they are in full swing volunteering. She says, “People are really excited about helping others and get a great sense of fulfillment and are involved in all aspects.” Some of these include inventory, food pick up, cleaning and many other activities that are required to make the food pantry a success.
Lisa Ryther, Program Director at The Arc’s Resources for Industry (RFI) loves that the agency is making more connections with the community and says, “The food pantry is providing an enriching opportunity for people.” She also points out that this endeavor is an agency-wide project and as activities present themselves, more people from throughout the agency will join in to get the job done. “It’s an exciting opportunity for everyone!”, she adds.
John Clark was really relieved to have found someone interested in this specific aspect of running the pantry. “I would have hated to see it go,” he said, referring to the support this pantry has provided for so many years.
We are both excited and grateful for such a rewarding opportunity to work hand – in – hand with our community! The pantry is located in the United Presbyterian Church at 55 East Street in Walton, NY. Its open hours are Tuesday’s from 11 – 1 p.m. Please pass the word along to those who could benefit from the food pantry and come on down to see us!