The Heritage Americal Civic Center came alive on the morning of June 5, as volunteers, donors, and friends of the Wakefield Food Pantry gathered to celebrate another year of serving neighbors in need. Guests enjoyed a continental breakfast while watching a slide show featuring the daily workings of the Pantry, and were advised to check the walls for posters featuring key facts and statistics about food insecurity in general and the Pantry in particular.

Executive Director Maureen Miller thanked those who have contributed to the success of the Pantry, either by volunteering or donating and stressed the need for continued support. Board Chair Melissa Lowry offered a summary of the Food Pantry’s activities during the year, noting that the pantry had served 578 families and individuals, distributed over 319,000 pounds of food, and household necessities last year.

Surprise check from Ed Bennett

Special guest Audrey Giuliano, accompanied by her granddaughter Felicia, was honored for twenty years of completing the Walk for Hunger.

And surprise guest Ed Bennet presented a substantial donation from the sale of the Greenwood Union Church. The presence of residents served by the Pantry was felt when Maureen Miller read a letter from a single working mother. Listing the multiple challenges that she faces but still signing herself “Always Smiling and Thankful,” the writer expressed heartfelt gratitude for the support of the pantry: “God bless our Food Pantry.  The Pantry team is always a source of dedicated support and caring.”

Guests finally understood why they had been urged to read the posters on the walls when board member Michael Boudreau announced a rousing game of Jeopardy. Competition was lively but friendly, and all were reminded of the need to continue supporting the crucial work of the Food Pantry as the celebration came to a close.