Hunger doesn’t go on vacation, and last week marked the end of free-lunch distribution by Tewksbury Public Schools. On Saturday, the Tewksbury Democratic Town Committee, with support from Market Basket, held a food drive to fill the shelves at the Tewksbury Community Pantry and provide financial support for the purchase of perishables and other needed supplies.
The food drive was held at Oakdale Market Basket on Saturday, June 27, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The committee collected hundreds of pounds of food and $500 in cash, and the TDTC donated an additional $1,000.
“We are so very thankful for the amazing response to our food drive and the generosity of the Tewksbury community,” said Cathy Dwyer, chair of the TDTC.
The Tewksbury Community Pantry provides support to all residents in need. Bridget Garabedian, TDTC outreach officer, and Sandy Creamer, TDTC member, organized the drive and welcomed elected officials and candidates, including Senator Barry Finegold, Representative Tram Nguyen and candidates Jamie Zahlaway Belsito and Angus McQuilken.
“We have all witnessed the incredible service these pantries play in our community and how hard they work to meet larger needs in new ways during these challenging times,” said Nguyen. “I’m so glad to see the Tewksbury Democratic Town Committee and other community members stepping up to help our local pantry feed neighbors in need.”
Residents turned out for drive-by drop-offs, some donating food items, others making cash donations.
“Volunteers reminded me that the pantry also distributes toiletries, diapers and other non-food supplies,” said resident Cathy Naughton. “We don’t always remember that, so It was great to have an opportunity to contribute needed items to the pantry.”
Committee member and former Tewksbury Town Clerk Liz Carey coordinated a mini-drive of Langley Lane residents, and Tewksbury student volunteers helped with drive-through collections and unloading seven carloads of donations. Treasurer Mary-Ann O’Brien Nichols presented a check to Pantry Director Bill Weich.
“It was important to the committee to make a significant cash donation,” said Garabedian. “As we enter the summer months, there’s often increased need in the community. If you can’t make it over to the pantry, remember that you can always contribute using PayPal on the website.” http://www.tewksburypantry.org/