The mission of the Wakefield Food Pantry is to provide food and household necessities to residents in need. We strive to provide high-quality service to our guests with respect, dignity, sensitivity, and integrity.
WHAT WE DO
In order to meet the food needs of the almost 600 families that visit the pantry every year, there is a lot of time, work and effort that goes on behind the scenes.
Every week, thousands of pounds of food are picked up at the Greater Boston Food Bank in South Boston and transported back to Wakefield where many volunteers unload, sort and shelve the 4000-6000 pounds of food. Because we are a member agency of the Greater Boston Food Bank, we are able to obtain food at very-low cost — every one dollar we spend purchases four dollars worth of food.
Non-perishable foods are also donated by local individuals, civic organizations, congregations, grocery stores and businesses. Food drives such as the Music Boosters Drive, the Annual Letter Carrier Drive and other area drives supplement our purchases from the GBFB.
We also shop at grocery stores when donations and GBFB items are not enough to provide healthy, nutritional food items for our shoppers.
Besides providing everyday food and household necessities, we run additional programs to supplement other occasions and situations such as:
- For the Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we supply all the fixings for a holiday meal.
- For the seniors at various residences in Wakefield, we run a mobile market once a month bringing food to their residential area.
- For the summer months when kids are not in school receiving their free or reduced lunches, our KidsFirst summer program provides additional kid-friendly foods for families.
- We also support other local programs when possible, for example, providing snacks for the Boys and Girls Club of Wakefield, meal ingredients for free community meals, and supplies for the monthly Veterans program.
The Board is responsible for overall policy and direction of the organization, and delegates responsibility for day-to-day operations to the volunteers or staff of the organization.
The 2018/2019 Board of Directors are:
- Melissa Lowry, President
- Anne Miller, Vice President
- Tom Jenkins, Treasurer
- Ann Duffy, Secretary
- Michael Boudreau, Director (Community Relations)
- Doreen McGowan, Director (Development)
- Anne Miller, Director (Information Technology)
- Jane Gehron, Director (At large)
- Open – At large
- Open – At large
The Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry was founded in 1982 by members of the First Baptist Church with the goal of helping those in our community who are in need. Guests are residents of Wakefield have fallen on difficult times due to job loss, illness, age or economic conditions. Anyone who demonstrates residence in Wakefield or is currently homeless can receive assistance. We believe that sometimes a helping hand is all you need to get back on your feet.Over the years, the pantry transitioned from an interfaith effort to a community-based organization. In December of 2002, the pantry incorporated as a non-profit organization and received its designation under section 501 (c) (3).
Tina Cooper, a member of the First Baptist Church, played a key role in leading food pantry operations as the coordinator from 1990 to 2001. From 2001 through 2004, the Wakefield Food Pantry was run by Director Wendy Dennis and many volunteers, while being supported by individuals, organizations, and businesses in our community. Since 2005, the WIFP has been managed by Executive Director, Maureen Miller, with a dedicated volunteer base.
In July of 2010, to meet the growing needs of its guests, the Wakefield Food Pantry moved to a larger space in the Americal Civic Center located at 467 Main Street.