Dear Wakefield Community:
As you know it’s been an incredible, unprecedented, and challenging time for the Wakefield Food Pantry (WFP), our community, our state, our country, and our world. This pandemic was something that we could not have expected or planned for.
Yet, it is usually in challenging times the true colors of an individual, organization, or community come to light. That has certainly been the case with the WFP. I am so proud of and thankful for how our organization, volunteers, and our Wakefield community have worked together to handle the onslaught of this crisis. The food pantry has been able to remain open to distribute food to those in need while keeping guests and volunteers as safe and socially distant as possible.
As you can imagine, the need of our neighbors has risen greatly as unemployed and furloughed individuals have had to grapple with feeding themselves and their families. The WFP has been able to provide food to an average of 150 households each week, a 57% increase over our normal operations. We’ve also accomplished this with a much smaller crew of volunteers on each shift, as many of our regular volunteers for various reasons needed to stay safe and healthy at home.
As always, the Wakefield community has gone above and beyond to support the WFP mission.
- When our regular volunteers could not come in, many wonderful new volunteers stepped up to fill our needs and help us operate effectively.
- When our community learned that we were having trouble getting certain products, thousands of pounds of food were donated and delivered.
- When we asked for financial donations, our community gave much-needed funds to buy more food. Many of which were made anonymously. Those funds also allowed us to purchase new refrigeration so that we could handle the increase in need.
- Working in partnership with us and the Wakefield Public Schools, the Wakefield Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce held a fundraiser to purchase gift cards from local restaurants to be distributed to those in need. This endeavor helped both local businesses and our guests during this difficult time.
- The Town of Wakefield has also supported us in many ways including providing masks, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and the use of practically the entire Civic Center to collect, sort, store and distribute groceries.
As we work through this crisis, we will continue to adapt in order to fulfill our mission to serve those in need. All of us at the WFP — the board leadership, the operations team, the volunteers — are confident that the Wakefield community will always be there to support the food pantry and our neighbors in need.
For all of your acts of kindness, generosity, hard work, dedication, and commitment, we thank you, Wakefield!
Maureen Miller, Executive Director, Wakefield Food Pantry