A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.
Allow us to introduce you to another bright light here in Rochester: A ministry called MINO – Mothers in Need of Others, that has proven invaluable to many of the young families we provide services to. Below you will find a message from MINO’s founder, Maria Wehrle, describing what MINO provides, as well as sharing some ongoing needs they have that YOU may be able to help meet! We also want to mention and highlight how appreciative we are to this ministry for not only partnering to provide much needed household and baby items for families, but also for providing short-term work experiences for young moms in our teen parent program (TAPSS). Below is a picture of a young woman in our program who experienced her first day “on the job” at MINO this week, and was described by Maria as “a lovely person and a very hard worker”. Thank you Maria and staff for providing these much needed opportunities for young moms in Rochester!
Hello SPCC Friends!
For those of you whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, permit me to introduce myself! My name is Maria Wehrle and I manage a thrift store out of Wedge Market of The Pillar Church at 46 Mount Hope Avenue where I also operate two outreach programs. The first of these is Mothers In Need of Others (MINO-pronounced: “minnow”). MINO was started in 2004 to meet the needs of single parents in the Rochester area. Through MINO we work with case managers and church outreach workers to assist them in providing FREE maternity, baby items, feminine and personal hygiene products, and household items to moms and their families. For a family to receive needed items, their case worker or church contact just needs to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (585) 348-8596. If we have the item(s) needed, we can schedule an appointment for the caseworker or church contact to pick it up for the family! It’s really that simple! No extra paperwork and a family’s privacy is completely protected!
The second ministry is Furnished 4 Life. For families who have some income to purchase items, we operate the Furnished 4 Life Thrift Store. The store is open to the public, offering an array of new and “like new” items at drastically reduced prices. Our store hours are Mondays & Wednesdays from 10am-5pm, Fridays from 10am-2pm, and Saturdays from 1pm-5pm. We do have some furniture pieces and small appliances for sale in the store currently and are looking to expand our inventory in the near future, as we secure transportation and individuals to help us transport the items. Proceeds from our thrift store support job development efforts in the city!
We absolutely love the family atmosphere and close relationships we have developed with many of our client representatives. We would like to continue helping meet the needs in the community, but we need your help! We are in great need of the following items:
- Baby and toddler clothes (Boys & Girls; size preemie-5T)
- Baby Gear (cribs, car seats, strollers, high chairs, baby seats, etc.) – All are inspected, cleaned and recall checked!
- Household items (dishes, drinking glasses, silverware, cooking utensils, pots & pans
- Linens (sheets, blankets, towels, rugs, curtains)
- Small appliances (microwaves, crock pots, coffee pots, electric skillets, fans, heaters, etc.)
Please help us spread the word to your friends, family, and neighbors who might be moving, downsizing, or looking to donate items after their garage sales!
Looking forward to meeting you!
Furnished 4 Life/MINO ministries
Kendra Walling, SPCC WIC Nutritionist As an SPCC WIC Nutritionist, Kendra is able to share her expertise and love for healthy eating with families throughout Ontario, Wayne, Yates, Seneca and Eastern Monroe counties.
It’s Farmers Market season…Yeah Yeah Yeah!!! Why am I excited for the farmers markets this year? There are so many reasons why I cannot wait to go to the local markets! Let me tell you a few…
A couple years ago I worked with a program that allowed me to frequent farmers markets and promote nutrition education. It really doesn’t get better than having part of your work day be outside in the warm summer sun sharing information that you love with people in your community (sometimes even dressed up as a carrot or a tomato, ha!).
Traveling around to the different markets allowed me to see that each market is run a little bit differently and each location has unique community characteristics that all contribute to the ultimate farmers market experiences. Each market has different vendors too, the products ranged from fruits and vegetables (of course!) to local honey, handmade products, and some direct sale businesses depending on what the market allowed. Each year the vendors change and the markets grow with more options and events that are fun for a variety of ages!
Another reason why I love farmers markets is because they allow for very different experiences than shopping at grocery stores. I love being outside, especially on the bright days filled with warmth and sunshine. Seeing the vivid colored produce available and the smiling faces of everyone enjoying the weather that we don’t always have in Upstate NY makes a trip to the market more rewarding! Even the rainy days have their own sense of enjoyment with the comradery of braving the weather and the laughter that comes with all of the puddles to jump in! The effort that goes into putting a market together for the season and even setting up for just the afternoon shows the pride and commitment that the market managers and vendors have for the products and experience that they are providing to communities. Usually the prices are so much better too, and you can’t beat that bonus!
I could just go to the grocery store and pick up some berries as early summer comes along, but there is something different about the taste and satisfaction that comes with berries that aren’t under florescent lights in plastic containers. Farmers markets bring a sense of closeness to the earth and community, a sense of peace that comes from a leisure stroll through a park in the heat of summertime. And that is something that can’t be replicated inside of a bustling supermarket.
This year I am especially excited for farmers market season to start because my husband and I have adopted a new way of eating. We have adopted a whole foods plant-based diet and it has definitely changed our lives. I am learning to cook new recipes and we have more energy than we ever had before (another reason to spend more time outside!). Our dietary changes have focused on whole foods and plant-based nutrition so the farmers markets will be able to supply the majority of what we purchase to eat on a regular basis and we will be able to find unique options that aren’t always available at the grocery store. I can’t wait to see what we will be able to find at the farmers markets this year!
As farmers market season begins this year, it will be different for my family though because I am not able to go to the farmers markets as often as a part of my day at work. Instead it will become a planned decision to make sure that we are able to attend the market on the day of the week and time that they are open. A lot of markets have machines that let you use SNAP (Food Stamps), there are a variety of markets and vendors that accept WIC/Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks, and sometimes they even accept debit so having cash on hand isn’t as crucial. The Cornell Cooperative Extension offices in many counties have schedules of the farmers markets in the area and sometimes they even have info on what forms of payment are accepted. Social media is another great way to stay connected on the events and schedules of your favorite markets. I follow a couple local farmers markets through Facebook so I’ll be ready the week that they open and I cannot wait!
I hope that you will find the same joy in perusing the markets on a relaxing sunny day while hunting for the next mouthwatering treat that has come into season in our great state of NY. Let the Farmers Market Season begin!