Pantry Home

12/11/2004


Families Lives Changing Rapidly
by
Sandy Donovan

 
This week I am writing  from Biddeford, ME, as I am on retreat for a few days. Family’s lives are like the ocean I can view from my bedroom window; one moment it appears to be calm and peaceful and the next moment it seems to be in turmoil. The light of the day becomes the darkness of the night for many in this changing economy. Just like the unexpected storm causes the ocean to churn very rapidly from being peaceful.
 
Like the ocean, families are finding their lives changing rapidly.  People that could help out a year ago find themselves in the same position of the families they were helping in the past. It seems in Lowell and others areas in Massachusetts more and more people are being laid off.  People that didn't need to come to the pantry for a long time find themselves back in line again for the much-needed food to keep themselves and families healthy or maybe their first experience. I find the number of families in Chelmsford alone is higher this year needing to be adopted then in the past, along with other suburbs and Lowell.
 
People responded to the article I wrote last week and I would like to thank them for their response and generosity. Their donations are going to make a difference for many families, as a majority of our shopping will be at the supermarket after the holidays.   New England Food Foundation donation just before Thanksgiving and the generous donations of food and other items from the community have helped us tremendously. We are truly  "One Family in God".
 
As I think back to the meeting I had with Worcester County Food Bank in October of this year I think of Lois Paired telling me I couldn’t feed the nuns. We have 10 retired nuns that live in Lowell together and live on below poverty income and are on Mass Health. Some are on special diets and that can be costly. In fact, one of the nuns volunteers for us. There is no way I can refuse food or help of other kinds, if we are able to do it, no matter who they are or where they are from.  It comes down to beaurecracy or compassion. Hunger cannot be put into territories it has no boundaries and much of it is invisible. We do let families come every week for food if they need to and for some it is twice a week.  I do tell them they should only go to one food pantry as food is down in the food banks throughout New England and to go to more then one pantry is taking away from another family. Families do understand that once I explain it to them. But I always tell them to come and try us. Then make the decision if they are going to more then one as we are weekly. We do not prebag and do try to cater to people's diets to the best of our ability.
 
All food pantries have there own flavors just like people all make beef stew differently but in the end it is the same ingredients. All done in love.
 
Last week I had more families wanting to adopt families then families needing adoption for Christmas for much needed clothing they are unable to buy and now it is the opposite.  I have more families that need to be adopted then I have families to adopt at the moment.
 
We do go to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank which is an independent food bank and they have been wonderful to us and to many other agencies but they are small compared to Worcester County Food Bank and a majority of the things we could buy at WCFB for 16 cents a pound we are now paying supermarket prices for as they are unavailable at MVFB. We have been blessed this season with many donations and I can't let myself wonder about the future because I know in the end it will work out as God always works through people and their generosity of time, talent or treasure.  It will be a different kind of a challenge for me.  We are hoping we will be able to appeal the decision in the future with WCFB but at the moment their doors are closed to us. Ours have never shut and we are still open to negotiate with them. We are closer geographical to Worcester then to Boston. It was an easy ride up Route 495 South to Route 9. Very direct and easy to get people to help us. We have lost our 1,5000 to 2,000 pounds of monthly free food from MEFAP which came from Boston for us and nine other agencies because Worcester would not let us to continue to pick it up there as Jean McMurray told me we no longer have a partnership with you.  Sad state of events. Aren't we suppose to be working together to help each other and everyone else that needs food or any kind of help in any area? The decision of one or two people can affect many lives in the making of that decision.
 
Ken's Foods provides us with donations of salad dressing, mayonnaise and barbeque sauce. We need to find a company that will donate or sell to us wholesale price juices and healthy snacks for children to be able to take to school.  This is one of our biggest demands as parents are always asking for these things.
 
 At this time of the year one looks at the thermostat and thinks of what is left in the checkbook always hoping there will be enough to keep the home a little warm, buy food and hopefully be able to buy a few gifts for under the tree.    Unfortunately, the checkbook amount depletes rapidly and the thermostat is only on occasionally and there is not any money left to be able to buy a few presents.  Some of the needs that are listed can bring tears to one's eyes. One family needs CVS gift card for prescriptions, another bath towels, and the list goes on for needed winter clothing for children.  Parents usually don't want to put down any thing unless they are desperate for something but I insist that they do or if they don't I put down a gift certificate for them.
 
If you would like to adopt a family for Christmas gifts, provide a dinner, or fill stockings with goodies in them please call  Sandy Donovan at 978 250-3818 or email: vze2gt3p@verizon.net.
Checkout our new web site donated and maintained free of charge by a parishioner from St. Mary Magdalene. When it opens just add to your favorites and it will say pantry. http://homepage.mac.com/poptech/Pantry/Pantry.html   Or if you have a van that is in good shape with less then 150,00 miles on it and would like to donate it us I would be very grateful as our van has over 243,000 miles on it now and keeps begging me to retire it
 
 
Family’s lives change rapidly like the food pantry!
 
This week I am writing from Biddeford, ME, as I am on retreat for a few days. Family’s lives are like the ocean I can view from my bedroom window; one moment it appears to be calm and peaceful and the next moment it seems to be in turmoil. The light of the day becomes the darkness of the night for many in this changing economy. Just like the unexpected storm causes the ocean to churn very rapidly from being peaceful.
 
Like the ocean, families finding their lives changing rapidly.  People that could help out a year ago find themselves in the same position of the families they were helping in the past. It seems in Lowell and others areas in Massachusetts more and more people are being laid off.  People that didn't need to come to the pantry for a long time find themselves back in line again for the much-needed food to keep themselves and families healthy or maybe their first experience. I find the number of families in Chelmsford alone does higher this year need to be adopted then in the past, along with other suburbs and Lowell.
 
People responded to the article I wrote last week and I would like to thank them for their response and generosity. Their donations are going to make a difference for many families, as a majority of our shopping will be at the supermarket after the holidays.   New England Food Foundation donation just before Thanksgiving and the generous donations of food and other items from the community have helped us tremendously. We are truly  "One Family in God".
 
As I think back to the meeting I had with Worcester County Food Bank in October of this year I think of Lois Paire telling me I couldn’t feed the nuns. We have 10 retired nuns that live in Lowell together and live on below poverty income and are on Mass Health. Some are on special diets and that can be costly. In fact, one of the nuns volunteers for us. There is no way I can refuse food or help of other kinds, if we are able to do it, no matter who they are or where they are from.  It comes down to beaurocracy or compassion. Hunger cannot be put into territories it has no boundaries and much of it is invisible. We do let families come every week for food if they need to and for some it is twice a week.  I do tell them they should only go to one food pantry as food is down in the food banks throughout New England and to go to more then one pantry is taking away from another family. Families do understand that once I explain it to them. But I always tell them to come and try us. Then make the decision if they are going to more then one as we are weekly. We do not prebag and do try to cater to people's diets to the best of our ability.
 
All food pantries have there own flavors just like people all make beef stew differently but in the end it is the same ingredients. All done in love.
 
Last week I had more families wanting to adopt families then families needing adoption for Christmas for much needed clothing they are unable to buy and now it is the opposite I have more families that need to be adopted then I have families to adopt at the moment.
 
We do go to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank which is an independent food bank and they have been wonderful to us and to many other agencies but they are small compared to Worcester County Food Bank and a majority of the things we could buy at WCFB for 16 cents a pound we are now paying supermarket prices for as they are unavailable at MVFB. We have been blessed this season with many donations and I can't let myself wonder about the future because I know in the end it will work out as God always works through people and their generosity of time, talent or treasure.  It will be a different kind of a challenge for me.  We are hoping we will be able to appeal the decision in the future with WCFB but at the moment their doors are closed to us. Ours have never shut and we are still open to negotiate with them. We are closer geographically to Worcester then to Boston. It was an easy ride up Route 495 South to Route 9. Very direct and easy to get people to help us. We have lost our 1,5000 to 2,000 pounds of monthly free food from MEFAP which came from Boston for us and nine other agencies because Worcester would not let us to continue to pick it up there as Jean McMurray told me we no longer have a partnership with you.  Sad state of events. Aren't we suppose to be working together to help each other and everyone else that needs food or any kind of  help in any area? The decision of one or two people can affect many lives in the making of that decision.
 
Ken's Foods provides us with donations of salad dressing, mayonnaise and barbeque sauce. We need to find a company that will donate or sell to us wholesale price juices and healthy snacks for children to be able to take to school.  This is one of our biggest demands as parents are always asking for these things.
 
 At this time of the year one looks at the thermostat and thinks of what is left in the checkbook always hoping there will be enough to keep the home a little warm, buy food and hopefully be able to buy a few gifts for under the tree.    Unfortunately, the checkbook amount depletes rapidly and the thermostat is only on occasionally and there is not any money left to be able to buy a few presents.  Some of the needs that are listed can bring tears to one's eyes. One family needs CVS gift card for prescriptions, another bath towels, and the list goes on for needed winter clothing for children.  Parents usually don't want to put down any thing unless they are desperate for something but I insist that they do or if they don't I put down a gift certificate for them.
 
If you would like to adopt a family for Christmas gifts, provide a dinner, or fill stockings with goodies in them please call   Sandy Donovan at 978 250-3818
or email:
email
vze2gt3p@verizon.net.

Checkout our new web site donated and maintained free of charge by a parishioner from St. Mary Magdalene. When it opens just add it to your favorites and it will say "The Pantry".

"The Pantry "- Chelmsford Community Exchange, Inc.
http://homepage.mac.com/poptech/Pantry/Pantry.html


Or if you have a van that is in good shape with less then 150,00 miles on it and would like to donate it us I would be very grateful as our van has over 243,000 miles on it now and keeps begging me to retire it.