New York: Lord's Pantry Loses Funding -- White Plains Group Feeds Homebound HIV/AIDS Patients
The Lord's Pantry, which serves meals to 125 home-based HIV/AIDS patients, has learned it will no longer receive $300,000 in Ryan White funds. Eligible clients still will receive food, but through different providers, said Caren Halbfinger, spokesperson for the Westchester County Health Department, which administers the federal program.
"The health department had a rigorous review process and selected the top three scoring providers to serve clients this year," said Halbfinger, explaining the decision to discontinue funding to the 19-year-old Lord's Pantry. The health department sought a broad range of services that include food vouchers that enable clients to select and prepare their own food, she said.
"This is a change from the past, when most residents required ready-to-eat meals delivered to them, but that service is no longer needed by today's healthier clients," Halbfinger said.
With four paid staff and about 150 volunteers, Lord's Pantry has relied on the Ryan White grant for about 80 percent of its budget. Clients live Bedford Hills, Eastchester, Elmsford, Hartsdale, Mamaroneck, Mount Vernon, Mount Kisco, New Rochelle, Ossining, Post Chester, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, and White Plains. In all, the nonprofit has served more than 700,000 meals.
"While the Lord's Pantry was not among the top-ranking providers this time around, they provided critical services throughout many years, and we greatly appreciate their excellent service to so many county residents," Halbfinger said.
Founder Joan McGovern is committed to carrying on without the federal funding. "I guess I should be worried, but I'm not, really," she said. "It doesn't occur to me that we'll have to shut down. We know there's a need here, and I have a feeling that we'll keep going, no matter what."
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