Featured in MyRye.com
(PHOTO: Pastors Pasquale & Sherri Falco of Giving Tree Global “Bread of Life” on the TV show George To The Rescue.)
Giving Rye is a new occasional feature highlighting non-profits and community groups in and around the City of Rye. Today meet Pastors Pasquale & Sherri Falco of Giving Tree Global “Bread of Life”.
Your Name: Pastors Pasquale & Sherri Falco
Organization: Giving Tree Global “Bread of Life”
Your role: Co-Founders
MyRye.com: Tell us your organization’s mission.
Falcos: The mission of Giving Tree Global is to share the love of God in tangible ways, by providing food, essential goods, and support to those in need.
How long have you operated in Rye?
Falcos: Rye is home to the Bread of Life. We began operating in 2013 with our food rescue and built our pantry shortly thereafter.
(PHOTO: Volunteers, including students from Midland Elementary School, running Giving Tree Global “Bread of Life”’s food pantry in Rye. )
What programming or work in Rye is the organization best known for?
Falcos: We are best known for our feeding programs and our Bread of Life food pantry.
Our food rescue & delivery takes place 7 days per week all year long. We rescue over 63,000 pounds of food per week (over 2 million pounds of food per year) of edible food that would otherwise go to waste and deliver it to 15 different food pantries, soup kitchens, and senior centers throughout southern Westchester County.
Our Bread of Life food pantry food and children’s clothing distribution takes place two times per month on Monday mornings from 11:00am to 1:00pm here in Rye.
Our satellite food pantry distributions take place every Saturday morning at 7:00am in White Plains.
Looking forward to 2024, what will be your top initiatives?
We are always looking to love better and serve more so one of our top initiatives is to expand the number of our onsite food pantries.
As Mother Teresa said, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” To us, it is not simply about the numbers, but more about changing lives. We want them to know their lives matter, not only to God, but also to us. Therefore, we would like to provide more ways in which our food recipients can become independent and live fruitful lives.
Early childhood literacy- we began getting books into the hands of our food recipients, focusing on the younger ages. We would like to expand this program.
Tell us about the population you serve and how they can get involved with your programming and services.
Falcos: We serve the working poor, single parents with children, families, and low-income seniors. We welcome volunteers at our pantry, packing bags for the pantry, doing community food drives, helping us stock our shelves, and also helping out with food rescue and delivery.
Are you a 501(c)(3) non-profit with tax exempt status?
Falcos: Yes, we are a 501c3
Looking back across 2023, what were your organization’s top achievements?
Serving more low-income seniors. We have a heart to take care of the most vulnerable members of our community. Low-income seniors live in some of the saddest conditions possible. We bring them food, gifts from some of the elementary school children, and love.
We have brought more youth into our programming to help them benefit from giving back to the community. What we do, not only changes the food recipients, but it also changes our volunteers.
We started more of a social media presence to help bring hope and healing to those whose lives are shattered and feel that they may be beyond hope.
PHOTO: Pastors Pasquale Falco of Giving Tree Global “Bread of Life” and volunteers at the food pantry.)
How can local residents support your organization?
Falcos: We would love for local residents to join us in loving our neighbors well. We welcome financial support through our website. Volunteer opportunities, like helping out at our food pantry, are also listed on our website. Community food drives of nonperishable items is one way that is often overlooked but is a huge source of support in helping us to feed the increasing number of food insecure people in our community.
What local Rye residents and area businesses have been the longest, steadiest supporters of your organization?
Falcos: Sue Wexler, Liz Woods, Amanda Kavanaugh, Laura Becton, Lizabeth Redfern, Courtney Harwood, Dawn Collins, Colleen Margiloff, Laura Pellegrini, and Brian Ahrens. These are just some of the wonderful people who have supported us over the years in many ways. We also have Rhonda Barnat who has baked bread for us virtually every day since 2020 and Katie Vernace who has sent us a weekly fresh direct order also since 2020.
Valtori Pizza Kitchen and Al Dente give us their excess food daily. We are grateful for their support. We are hoping that other restaurants and vendors will also decide to donate their excess food.
It would be truly difficult to name all of the names of the wonderful people who have rallied around us to help us feed the hungry and love our neighbors well. The problem of hunger and food insecurity is huge and we are so grateful for all of the community support we receive.
Tell us about you:
How long have you been in your current role?
Falcos: We are the founders, so over 10 years now.
Is the role full time or part time? Paid or volunteer?
Falcos: Giving Tree Global is an all-volunteer organization. Pastor Pasquale is the mainstay in the food rescue which he does 7 days per week. Pastor Sherri is also full-time with Giving Tree Global. She also teaches in the seminary at Family of Faith University.
How would your friends and family describe you in one word?
Falcos:Coke or Pepsi?Coke
Regular or diet? Definitely regular
Action movie or rom com?Action movie
Cook, order in or eat out? Eat out
Dog, cat or no pet? Donkey
Balsamic vinaigrette or ranch?Balsamic
Ruffles Original, Lay’s Barbeque or Funyuns? Ruffles
Still, sparkling or tap?Sparkling
What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
Sherri Falcos: When Pasquale was sick with COVID in March of 2020, my friend offered to drive him in her car to the hospital at great risk to herself and her family. Everyone refused to help, even relatives because they were afraid, but my friend said, yes. I will never forget the love she showed me that day.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why, and who would you take with you?
Falcos: The Galapagos Islands. We would go with each other.
What is your favorite streaming / TV series?
Falcos: Boston Legal
What is your favorite movie?
Falcos: Groundhog Day.
Where do you live in Rye and how many years have you lived in the City?
Falcos: Sherri on Orchard Avenue for 26 years, Pasquale for 12 years.
Thanks Sherri and Pasquale!