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A Message from the Chairman

As we enter the summer season there are several important changes at the pantry that are worth noting.

The annual Board of Director Officer elections were held at the 6-13-16 board meeting. The following were approved for an additional one year term of service by unanimous consent.
  • Richard Podleski- Chairman
  • Herm Fischer- Vice Chairman, Interim Secretary
  • Al Trumpler- Treasurer
The board secretary position remains open after the retirement of Alane Pollan. Persons interested in applying for this Officer position may contact Richard Podleski for more information at wvfoodpantry@gmail.com
 

New Positions:

The board of directors would like to thank the pantry hiring committee (Debbie Decker, Margaret Shively and Helene Fernandez), for selecting and recommending a final candidate for the position of pantry supervisor. Roya Muniz has been appointed new pantry supervisor and was approved for her new role by the BOD at the June 13th meeting. She will be assuming her duties as of 6-20-16 taking over the position previously held by Margaret Shively who will be retiring from active pantry duty July 23rd, 2016.  Margaret will continue to remain on the board as a voting member and representative for Prince of Peace church for one additional year.

Debbie Decker has been appointed Executive Director of Outreach and Development. The change from “Officer” to “Director” roles will enable Debbie to more effectively expedite grant requests and provide her with a leadership role in training and development from an operational standpoint. Debbie will assist Margaret Shively in training the new pantry supervisor. The pantry supervisor will initially report to Debbie Decker during the training and introductory period and will report to the Board of Directors on a continuing basis. We wish Debbie and Roya good luck in their new roles and I am confident they will be successful implementing positive and productive changes to our operations. A special thank you goes out to Margaret for her many years of service and guidance.

On behalf of the Board of Directors I would also like to thank the many volunteers that participated in the annual postal food drive. Thanks to your donation of time, commitment and service to others we received and processed a record amount of food donations that allow us to effectively meet the needs of our clients.

Best Regards,


Richard Podleski
WVFP-Board Chairman


From Debbie’s Desk

Happy Summer everyone!  Spring at the Food Pantry has been busy and exciting!  We’ve had so many wonderful things happening on our campus this past couple of months and the summer season looks to be just as busy.

In May, we had our annual US Postal Food Drive “Stamp Out Hunger” and I’m thrilled to report that our amazing Drive Coordinator, Julianne Sorice, recruited over 250 volunteers to help sort.  We had our ever supportive Boy Scout Troop 22, multiple church and business groups, the El Camino Football Team, Girl Scouts, Pantry volunteers and so many faithful individuals that show up year after year.  We are so grateful to these groups and their efforts!  It’s exciting to announce that we received 42,500 pounds of food and that’s more food than any other site in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita and Ventura County!  Our local postal union really worked hard to get us to this point and supreme thanks goes to the Woodland Hills Post Office!

 
Over 250 volunteers help to sort out many boxes of food! 
 
Food Drive coordinator Julianne Sorice (left) and assistant


Also in May, the San Fernando Valley Girl Scouts did a food drive and these amazing girls collected 7+ truckloads of food for our clients.  Check out our web page for pictures!

In April, we received a generous grant from the Knistrom Foundation to replace an aging 2-door refrigerator.  With these funds, we were able to purchase TWO (!) 2-door refrigerators!  We have doubled our capacity for cold storage and this enables us to accept more food from donors and the public school food programs.  Many thanks to Jean Buesing, former Pantry Board Member, Ginny Kreuzberger, Chair of the Foundation and fabulous supporter, and Karen Buesing, Pantry volunteer, for a making an excellent presentation to the Foundation on our behalf!

 
On June 4th , the Pantry held its first ever Health Fair.  We took over the Prince of Peace campus and had 65 healthcare workers.  Unfortunately, we had 104 degree heat that day and fear it kept some people away, however, we did have approximately 150 people come and get their hearing, blood and vision tested as well as receive free haircuts! We also had a special visit from our local City Council Member, Bob Blumenfield, who provided us with tables and chairs for our outside seating! Music was provided by the amazing band, Western Justice! This was a labor of love from so many individuals, so, many thanks to all those healthcare workers, the volunteers who worked so hard in the blazing heat and especially Marlene Naumann of Providence Health Service who made all of this happen.
 

 
AND NOW FOR SUMMER!
Our National Charity League mother/daughter teams have started working in the pantry and we want to welcome them to our Pantry family! We also want to thank them for presenting the Pantry with a check for over $11,000!  Thank you, NCL for you support, generosity and participation if feeding the hungry.  We couldn’t do it without you!

On August 13th, we’ll be giving out stuffed backpacks to our Pantry clients with school aged children.  We are looking for donations of wrapped packages of paper, pens, highlighters, markers, notebooks, calculators, rulers, and all the stuff children need to start school. We’ll happily accept cash donations to fill in the items not donated.

And last, please MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  Our Annual Volunteer Luncheon will be held on Saturday, September 17th!  Don’t miss out!


Debbie Decker
Executive Director


We've Hired a New Pantry Supervisor!

Please welcome Roya Muniz, our new Pantry Supervisor.  Roya has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from California State University, Los Angeles and was employed for seven years at Unum.  She’s been a stay at home mother for the last couple of years but now is ready and eager to get back into the workforce.  

Margaret Shively has been asking to retire for many months and we struggled to find someone just as wonderful to fill her very large shoes.  BUT, don’t say goodbye to her! She may be retiring from the Supervisor position but she will be continuing on as a West Valley Food Pantry Board Member! 

For the next few weeks, you will see these two ladies together as Margaret trains her replacement.  We are so grateful for the almost 32 years Margaret has run the Pantry and her daily presence will be sorely missed.  However, we know Roya is up for the challenge of the Pantry’s operation and we ask that you welcome her with open arms.

WELCOME ABOARD, ROYA!
 
Substitute Coordinator
It would be a great help if we once again had a Substitute Coordinator.  This is something that one can do from home on your phone and computer.  The duties would be to keep and distribute to our members a monthly updated list of available Substitutes,  receive calls from In Pantry volunteers who need substitutes  and make calls to fill their needs.  If this is something you might be interested in doing, please contact Helene Fernandez. It would be a valuable way to  contribute to our efforts to efficiently serve our clients.

     
 
The West Valley Food Pantry gratefully acknowledges the generous  donations from the following organizations.
 
A very heartfelt Thank You to the Knistrom Foundation for its substantial grant to the WVFP. This grant allowed us to purchase 2 new refrigeration units. Thanks to this wonderful organization,  the West Valley Food Pantry has the ability to meet the growing demands placed on our operational infrastructure The Knistrom Foundation has been a crucial supporter of the WVFP and also provided the much needed funds to purchase and install the additional storage container that has enabled us to process and store the many donations of food we receive annually.

Thank you to the Woodland Hills Women’s club for their very generous financial donation in May. Your continued support is greatly appreciated and needed. A special thank you to Stephanie Knizek for coordinating and managing the participation of this organizations efforts to support the WVFP.

Thank you to the Girl Scouts of Greater LA and the Woodland Hills Service Center for donating over 1,700 pounds of groceries in April, Your generous support and enthusiasm has been a wonderful blessing to our organization and clients. Thanks for helping feed the local community in need.

Thank you to Brent and Tanya Fogel and their daughter Miranda who gave an exceptionally generous donation of $2,500.  Miranda had her Bar Mitzva gifts directed to the Pantry and included in the $2,500.

Thank You to DC Collective for its continued support and monthly donations of food. Your consistent support is appreciated. A special thank you to Patti and Yoli for managing the purchase and coordination of these donations!

Thank you to Hale Charter Academy for donations of fresh fruits and milk throughout the school year. These donations have significantly helped the pantry to increase donated food and helped to lower costs.

Outstanding Service Recognition

Thank you to Harry and Terri Seidman for your continued support and outstanding volunteer efforts. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the WVFP, we  would like to recognize your efforts for all that you do;  including the regular food pick up and delivery from Trader Joes, your participation in all major pantry food drives and most recently for managing the purchase and delivery of the new refrigeration units to the WVFP.  Your continued support and volunteer efforts are outstanding. The WVFP would like to extend a special thank you for all of the hard work you both provide for the benefit of the pantry.

Thank you to Rich Poppenberg from St. Martins in the Field for his support on  many of the recent  volunteer events and pantry projects. As a board member, Rich has stepped up to the call for additional help on several occasions without hesitation. Thank you for your service.
We Need Volunteers!
You can volunteer to help at the Food Pantry by filling out our on-line application

We can now accept online donations!
 

We accept credit and debit cards (as well as PayPal). You do not need a PayPal account!



 

About the West Valley Food Pantry

The WVFP has over 200 volunteers serving about about 2-1/2 hours, 1 day a month. They purchase or take delivery of food shipments, stock shelves, validate client eligibility, maintain distribution records, shop for specials, buy and pick up food, as well as assist in the daily distribution.

We serve twelve zip codes that cover the West San Fernando Valley. Our efforts are made possible by the contributions of both food and money we receive from the local community and our coalition members. Donations are always welcome as we strive to insure that "No one goes away hungry". 
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