The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force has taken down its big tent near Columbus Park in Mamaroneck and set up shop in a more permanent home nearby after a full year of pandemic driven expansion.
The big, metal framed white tent equipped with a large propane heater and adjacent storage containers went up at the Mamaroneck Village parking lot on Jefferson Avenue at the height of the Covid 19 lockdown in November 2020. The long lines of clients became a familiar sight every Tuesday as volunteers handed out hundreds of bags of groceries to residents facing food insecurity. Those long lines were the visual indicator of a need that was rapidly expanding.
Crews took the big tent down December 7th, 2021 as the organization moved to 955 Mamaroneck Avenue and accepted delivery of much needed refrigeration equipment donated in part by the non-profit Feeding Westchester organization, and The Grange restaurant in Larchmont.
“The community has been enormously generous,” Hunger Task Force President Malcolm Frouman told us. The community’s support has enabled not only the rental of the big tent last year (to replace a series of portable canopies) but the ability to sign the 3-year lease on the new location in the vicinity of Mamaroneck Avenue School. “Its good to have a solid roof over our heads and not be at the mercy of the elements,” Frouman said. From what he tells us, the task at hand has been expanding constantly in the past year.
Task Force volunteers have seen the need for hunger relief quadruple since the start of the pandemic, going from a couple of hundred modest sized bags of food every two weeks back in 2019 to more than 600 every Tuesday in the past year. Volunteers hand out between 8 to 10-thousand dollars worth of food every week. Many clients flocking to the service during the height of the lockdown are described as “people (who were) not able to go to work and were already living paycheck to paycheck.”
Larchmont and Mamaroneck residents must register with the Task Force to receive free food. Distributions are made on Tuesdays between 3:30 to 6PM with fresh produce available one Saturday each month.
Lou Young is a veteran journalist who has been honored with multiple awards including 10 Emmys. He retired in 2017 after 43 years in TV News and was recently appointed a Trustee in the Village of Mamaroneck, and has suspended reporting duties.