At 10 a.m. on any Wednesday, clients of the food pantry step into a world that we’ve created together—volunteers helping over 100 families a week, folks dropping off donations, and people in need of food looking out for each other.
This week, we helped 135 families, a total of 493 people. Our volunteers are generous of spirit, but so are our clients, week after week. One man asks if he could have the restaurant-size can of tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce for his elderly neighbors. A woman eyes the 6-pound can of butter beans and hesitates to take it in case somebody needs it more than her family does. In the middle of all this give-and-take, a client reaches into a pocket and hands me a piece of candy, a reminder that we’re in this together and grateful to be seen.
The generosity does not stop there. Donations of money, food, and assorted items keep the pantry going, and this week Cabrini Eldercare donated stuffed animals for our youngest clients to snuggle with; special thanks to Cabrini’s Judy Connolly (pictured below). And kudos to Renya for donating a stroller in top condition (instead of hauling it the curb). You made one family very happy.
Vaccination Made Easy
For the second consecutive week we offered the COVID-19 vaccine to our clients and others in the community, thanks to Dr. Nitin Gupta of Rivertowns Pediatrics. He provided the vaccine and administered it with the help of Mary Anne Griggs, a longtime pantry volunteer and a nurse. Dr. Gupta will return in several weeks to follow up with the second dose.
Want to Help?
If you’d like to donate money to help our neighbors get the food they need, use this link. Donations of unopened packaged food that hasn’t expired can be left in the bin outside the church doors, and for larger donations contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This week, the items we need most are pasta sauce, tuna, crunchy peanut butter, and canned soup. We always need diapers, especially size 5 and 6, and if you’re at Stop & Shop this Saturday, May 22, you’ll see the Rivertowns Rotary Club hosting a diaper drive for the pantry’s clients from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We’re not here to judge, but are your reusable grocery bags looking a bit grungy? Stop & Shop sells “Give Back” reusable bags and is donating a dollar for each bag sold to the food pantry.