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Youth Bureau Cultivates Donations For Food Pantry In White Plains

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The executive director of the White Plains Youth Bureau helped load fresh produce donated by four farmers who participate in the weekly White Plains Farmers Market into a van Wednesday to take to the Ecumenical Food Pantry of White Plains.

The food pantry's director, Lorraine Buonocunto, and the City of White Plains thanked each of the four farmers with a certificate Wednesday recognizing their contribution.

"If we have nowhere for it to go, why not give it to someone who can get a meal out of it," said Rudy Tomaselli, manager of S&SO Produce Farms.

Mead Orchards, Rollingridge, S&SO Produce Farms and Amelia Florists have been donating anything they don't sell during the day to the food pantry since the market opened April 25. This is the third year they have done so, and Buonocunto hopes for more participants in coming years.

"I am very pleased with the Youth Bureau for helping us get the food," Buonocunto said, adding that the Food Pantry sees about 120 families in need every Friday.

The partnership began three years ago when White Plains students participating in the Youth Bureau's Greening Project surveyed farmers at the weekly market, said Janet Spencer, program supervisor. When asking how farmers handled leftover produce, they found out it went to waste. It was then that four of the farmers surveyed offered to donate anything they didn't sell.

To get involved with the Ecumenical Food Pantry of White Plains, call 914-428-5770, or Buonocunto directly at 914-428-5076. The food pantry is open Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon and is in the Thomas H. Slater Center, 2 Fisher Court.

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