The Mental Health Association of Westchester (MHA) is pleased to announce the expansion of its mobile food pantry services with the generous support of a $125,000 grant from Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.
This substantial funding benefits community members in Westchester and Rockland counties who have been impacted by shelter-at-home practices, social distancing and other consequences of COVID-19, including interruptions to services and support that help individuals thrive. Delivering food and essential items such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies and diapers, MHA’s mobile food pantry was created this spring immediately following the temporary closure of the agency’s Sterling Community Center and its brick-and-mortar pantry.
“We are thrilled to receive this generous grant from Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and are grateful for their support of this vital work,” said MHA CEO Charlotte Östman, LCSW-R. “While there have been many advances in access to food and essentials, barriers still exist – especially for those who are isolated in their residences without consistent and reliable means of obtaining critically needed items for themselves and for their families. For people without a computer or smart phone, ordering groceries online is unattainable; for those without a car or a safe way of traveling, making it to a food pantry location is nearly impossible. We continue to adapt our practices to meet the needs of those we serve, and I am proud of the ingenuity and dedication of the staff who spearheaded this effort.”
MHA’s mobile pantry delivers more than just food and essentials: it delivers care and connection. Certified Peer Support Specialists use deliveries to check in with individuals, model the reality of recovery and provide connections to additional supports and services, including MHA’s Employment Services for those with vocational needs. The award is part of a $50 million Mother Cabrini Health Foundation initiative to support COVID-19 response efforts.