Who We Are
Since our launch in June 2019, Willow Roots, Inc. has been working hard to promote causes that are dear to our hearts. As we know, there is always more that can be done; however, we believe we are making a difference in our corner of the world - Pine Plains, NY.
What began as a small helping hand to one man has now become so much more than we could have imagined. The support and love that we have seen in our community has enabled Willow Roots to become an integral part of the community.
With so much food available and sadly being thrown out, we have partnered with various churches, restaurants, farms, and individuals who have been the backbone and inspiration for our birth and our continued growth.
This website is no longer maintained. Visit us at:
Willow Roots, Inc.
Willow Roots's history actually begins in Pennsylvania where our President, Lisa Zayas first began feeding people and using networking skills to build a community. She organized a group of women called Angels in Our Midst and began volunteer projects including buying Christmas gifts for children for the local Outreach Program. The group also baked cookies for the Bushkill Fire and Ambulance Company in appreciation for their dedication and collected over one hundred stuffed animals that were kept on the fire trucks and in the ambulances for children.
Now living in New York her mission is to bring what she has learned and share that vision with her husband and her community. It is our Treasurer and Co-founder, Nelson Zayas, that has laid the foundation for this mission to become a reality. His skills and knowledge helped bring a mission into a corporation.
What began two years ago with a simple meal has now evolved into a movement. With over two thousand meals prepared it became necessary to take this vision to the next step. To incorporate and bring others into the fold seemed possible and necessary.
We believe that Willow Roots was a necessary extension of what was needed in our community. It was a wonderful organic growth of a company that has many volunteers and donors.
It is our hope that we continue to see the needs of our community and begin networking and weaving people together so that we are grounded, rooted, and strong. We are One.
Our Board is made up of mothers, fathers, grandparents, and friends. It is a group that is unique and yet reflects the people, the community as One – Pine Plains Strong.
Our President and Co-founder, Lisa Zayas began this movement in Pennsylvania, but is was not until she met her husband, Nelson Zayas, Co-founder and Treasurer that the journey truly began.
With the community behind them they brought on board their Vice President, Brett McCormack who is the co-owner of Gallery and Goods in Pine Plains. Brett was eager to bring his artistic talent to the table and is the creator of our Willow Roots, Inc. logo.
Then came Cris Smith-Hedges, who loved what we were doing and despite all her other responsibilities including manager of The Pine Plains Platter, joined our group with great enthusiasm.
Our last but very important member was Diana Moore who brought her networking skills that far surpassed our expectations.
In November 2020, Willow Roots was blessed to have Anibal Garcia join us as a new board member, stepping into the role of Secretary (replacing Cris Smith-Hedges). Anibal comes to us with years of civic experience.
Breaking Barriers, Opening Doors
Updated December 26, 2020
Cesaltine & Charlotte
Jen (from Ireland)
Richie "Santa" Jewett
Anna, Fred, Talia & Chiara Moine
Danielle St. Pierre Prezzano
Susan & Karma
Willow Roots, Inc. works tirelessly to provide quality, long-term solutions for a number of pressing issues affecting our community. Our most significant causes are those that are often brushed aside by most. Our battle is against indifference, and we would love for you to become part of that change today.
Thank you to all our volunteers. We couldn't do it without you.
FOOD DONORS (Updated December 26, 2020):
Jaycee Kesh Akinsanya
"Chaplain" Larry & Kim
Simon de Beaupre
di Sarno Pizza (and Pam Miller)
First United Presbyterian Church: Pine Plains
Girl Scout Troop 10504
John Henry Low
Pine Plains Community Food Locker
Danielle St. Pierre Prezzano
Shekomeco Farm (Julianna & Curtis)
Stissing Mountain HS Honor Society
The Giving Box
Meg Van Leuven
DONOR LIST (Updated December 26, 2020):
Animal Farm Foundation (Christa Ploschke)
Carol Lee Bell
Karen Bates Dubray
Duehl's (Joan Taylor)
Emily Miller (Millerhurst farm)
Moose on the Loose
Heather Lynn Mullen
Denise Stampf Osofsky
FINANCIAL DONORS (Updated December 26, 2020):
Maria Cecilia Acerbo
Brian J. Alberg
Carey Osofsky Alberg
Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley: Dutchess Responds Fund
Janine Babcock-on behalf of PPCSD PPS Department
Irene W Banning
Jack P Banning
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Dee Ann Campbell
Church of the Regeneration: Pine Plains
Cloud Formation LLC
Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley
Fred A Couse
Fred Couse, Jr.
Nicole L Couse
Cooperative Foster Care Network
Jean Anne Dropp
First United Presbyterian Church of Pine Plains
Megan E Genthner
Michael R Genthner
Tomas Baibramael Gonzalez
Genesis A Gutierrez
Burt J. Hanback
Katherine DeNardis Hernandez
Cheryl Ann Hotte
Gerald W Hotte
Bonnie Lee Hughes
International Order of Odd Fellows 903
Patricia Keeler Jean
Sarah T Jones
John Henry Low
Jennifer Patterson Macri
Katherine Mautia Bijiriti Mango
Vianel Martinez (Mercedes)
Sara McGhee Simons
Gerald Charles McNamara Jr.
Burnadette E Murray
Sue E Near
Frances R. Olivieri
Mirocles Guatu Iri Ortiz
PayPal Giving Fund
Renee Katherine Petrofes
Pine Plains Garden Club
Pine Plains Pharmacy
Katherine Gray Pollock
Joan S Redmond
Sue Broersma Reilly
Chantel Garcia Rivera
William A Rodriguez
Ruby Rainbow Boas
Theresa Makutonaru Tlalotzin Santana
Ann Freney Simmons
Lesley A. Spencer
Stanford Fire Company
Jane Allen Waters
Debbi Chapman Weaver
Louise Benkert Williams
Woman's Association: Presbyterian Church: Pine Plains
Jean Hoehn Zimmerman