During this trying time, one Pleasantville teen is helping to support the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry with homemade ice cream.
It may seem like virtually all news nowadays is bad, but one Pleasantville teen is doing his part to change that. Eli Lowe, a sophomore at King School in Stamford, has already raised more than $1,200 for the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, using nothing but his newfound passion for ice cream.
According to Lowe, it was during an unlikely outing that he was first moved to make a difference. “In sixth grade, through my Hebrew School at Bet Torah, we went on a field trip to the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry to pack bags of food for Thanksgiving,” he recalls. “I was surprised that there were so many people in need who lived so close to me. I was also struck by the number of generous people who donated the food and volunteered their time at the pantry to help others. After that visit, I knew that I wanted to organize something that could be impactful in helping people.”
But what could he do to help? To answer that question, Lowe turned to his longtime interest in cooking. “In the past, I had focused on baking different types of homemade breads and pastas. Last January, I started making ice cream and began creating a variety of flavors based mostly on my family’s requests,” explains Lowe. “When the pandemic hit, I was aware that the food insecurity was growing and decided to use my interest in making ice cream to donate the money to the Food Pantry to help those in most need.”
Lowe, who makes the product in his kitchen and says his favorite flavors are maple walnut and coffee chip (though the most popular are cookie jar, mint chocolate chip, vanilla, and chocolate), developed a business plan with his father and dubbed his company EJ’s Homemade Ice Cream. Churning out up to 40 pints a week, Lowe is well aware how important his work is, especially now. “During the pandemic, I learned about how food pantries were having trouble keeping up with the need,” he says. “I had time during quarantine to really think about how I wanted to give back and support the community while using my culinary passion.”
While Lowe plans to expand his ice cream company in the future, his focus now is strictly on giving back. “From a young age, I have been involved with my community and trying to give to those in need,” says Lowe. “In sixth grade, I spearheaded a water-bottle collection effort that turned used water bottles into money, which we then donated to help [prevent] deforestation in Haiti. I’ve also been involved in other community service projects, including a trip to New Orleans to help children in a shelter. These projects helped shape and drive the starting of EJ’s.”