Manchester-Essex Cribbage Tournament

Thursday, February 27 at the American Legion Hall  (behind Manchester Town Hall)

$25 to enter – Cash Prizes – This is a friendly tournament.

Have a fun evening while supporting a good cause.

Arrive 5:30pm to learn or brush up

6:00pm to register

6:30pm to start playing

Play 3 different people,

Winners determined by number of games won and points won by.

Please RSVP to

crib board

Take a Trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast!

Please join us for a FREE information session about this upcoming trip.

The Chamber has partnered with Shell’s Dream Travel to offer a trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The information session will be presented by Shells Dream Travel and Chamber Explorations at the Cape Ann Chamber Office at 33 Commercial Street in Gloucester  on Thursday, March 19 from 5:30-7 PM.
This amazing trip is available to everyone – and for a great price (airfare is included)!!
If you’re interested in learning more PLEASE RSVP to Kerry McKenna at or 978-293-1601.
In the meantime… for an overview, itinerary and pricing
click here >>

The Open Door $1.7M Capital Campaign


(February 18, 2020) Gloucester, MA – – THE OPEN DOOR, a local nonprofit dedicated to alleviating food insecurity in the community, launches a $1.7M capital campaign to acquire the adjacent property 26 Emerson Avenue to expand its operations and build a new state-of-the-art commercial production kitchen.

The Open Door’s expansion project will add cold and dry storage, enhance client service areas, increase transportation capacity, and improve the living environment for Cape Ann’s low and moderate-income populations. This critical effort, the culmination of a 5-year strategic plan, will increase The Open Door’s capacity to distribute more nutritious food, develop greater opportunities for community engagement, and provide long-term solutions to hunger throughout the Region.

“We are thrilled to share the news of our kitchen expansion capital campaign,” said Kersten Lanes, Chair of The Open Door Board of Directors. “Our kitchen is the heart of everything we do at The Open Door.  With a larger, more professional, well-designed space, we will prep our Medically Tailored Groceries, host multiple volunteer groups, expand our training opportunities, and of course, produce hundreds of thousands of delicious meals for our clients!”

Approximately 90 percent of the funds have already been pledged or received towards the $1.7 million goal. This was accomplished during the quiet phase of the campaign and completed in December 2019. The Open Door will be reaching out to the community at large to raise the remaining 10% with the goal to complete this final fundraising phase by late spring.

The Open Door reflects what this community thinks is important—its people,” said Julie LaFontaine, President, and CEO of The Open Door.The community’s investment in this project is an investment in the lives and health of people we serve that will pay dividends of which we can all be proud.”

The kitchen expansion project will connect the existing properties of 26 and 28 Emerson Avenue to become a unified campus that will strengthen The Open Door’s food distribution systems and build nutritional capacity throughout their programs.

The generosity of our early donors recognizes the critical need to increase capacity to help those feeling the economic pinch in our community. They have created a solid foundation for this vital expansion of our nutrition-based operations,” added LaFontaine.For this we are truly grateful.”

The expanded campus of The Open Door will include a brand new, state-of-the-art teaching and commercial production kitchen that will prepare fresh meals daily for their programs. From Community Meals to Senior Soup and Salad, and partially prepped, fully prepped, and Grab ‘n Go items, the kitchen will increase production and utilize more food rescue product for distribution. The new kitchen will give larger groups of volunteers who come to help prepare food and meals for clients the elbow room they need to work together. The kitchen will also serve as an experiential learning classroom for the organization’s successful “On Your Mark” youth training culinary track embedded in existing programs.

The new campus will provide The Open Door much needed dry storage space for large quantities of donations, an additional cold storage unit dedicated exclusively for the kitchen, plus newly configured dish washing and laundry rooms. It will also house two electric kilns to fire bowls year-round for the Empty Bowl Dinner project that engages more than one thousand local people each year.

Strategically positioned to work with healthcare providers to offer medical nutrition therapy coupled with Medically Tailored Groceries, the new building will provide The Open Door capacity for innovation and growth at the intersection of nutrition and healthcare. It will give ample space for private counseling, workshops, and training activities to focus on health outcomes through nutrition education and open to clients and the public.

Lastly, as part of the expansion, the organization will make upgrades to the organization’s aging transportation fleet—two trucks and three vans. Efficient and reliable transportation is key to daily food acquisition with pickups from grocers and growers throughout the Greater Boston area. Last year, 25 percent of the 2.05 million pounds of food distributed—more than 500K pounds— was rescued from more than 55 local food collaborators. In 2019, The Open Door provided 1.71million meals to 8,287 unduplicated people.

This new property and expansion is a game-changer for The Open Door – and for our community,” shares LaFontaine.We followed a strategic growth plan to get us to this point. This expansion will enable us to address the community’s food security needs through the lens of better health. It will help us become even more efficient while increasing our food distribution capacity and adding critical services.

Last May, The Open Door purchased the 26 Emerson Avenue property, located adjacent to its main facility in Gloucester. The building plans are currently in progress. The leadership hopes work will begin this summer and be completed by the end of the year.

 # # #

The mission of The Open Door is to alleviate the impact of hunger in the community. We use practical strategies to connect people to good food, to advocate on behalf of those in need, and to engage others in the work of building food security.  Last year it provided 1.71 million meals —2.05 million pounds of food — to   8,287 people through its food pantries and Mobile Markets. It serves residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester By the Sea, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham, Rowley, Boxford and Topsfield.

For more information about The Open Door and ways to support the Capital Campaign, please visit, email: or call 978-283-6776.  Donations can be made online at or by mail to 28 Emerson Ave., Gloucester, MA 01930.

Gloucester Students: Apply now for Summer Internship!

ATTENTION Gloucester Students (and Parents): Applications for 2020 summer jobs are now being accepted! Apply for a LEAP for Education at GHS summer internship for July and August. Get a jump on your friends and nail down a great summer job!

As part of this FREE program you will:

Internship highlights:

Submit and application and then interview with LEAP for Education staff to confirm acceptance – we prioritize applications from underserved students

Applications are now available online through LEAP for Education’s website:

You may also apply by contacting JoAnn Leavitt at 774-270-0119 or

There is also a QR code on the internship flyer below

 If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact: JoAnn Leavitt Gloucester Internship Program Coordinator LEAP for Education 774-270-0119

Gloucester community garden & backyard garden applications are OPEN!

Do you want to garden in Gloucester this year? Backyard Growers is offering two programs to help low- to moderate-income families and seniors grow their own fresh, healthy produce and connect with their communities.  Read on for more information.


 Join a community garden.

Every year, the team at Backyard Growers helps Gloucester residents put fresh food on their tables by managing community gardens in public parks, public housing developments, and at community organizations all over Gloucester.

Participants receive a garden bed as well as free and reduced cost access to our gardening trainings, cooking workshops, seeds, and seedlings, plus support from a garden mentor to help them develop their green thumb.

Click here to download a community garden application.


Apply for a Backyard Garden! 

In 2019, Backyard Growers focused its Backyard Garden Program on low- to moderate-income older adults, providing each participant with a raised garden bed in their own backyard, training, seeds, and seedlings, plus two years of mentorship to help their new garden thrive. Thanks to this program, which has served over 150 households throughout Gloucester, community residents of all ages are growing their own healthy, delicious food.

Interested in growing in your own backyard? Apply by March 1!

Click here to download a Backyard Garden application.

Can’t download or print the application? Stop by the Backyard Growers office at 3 Duncan Street, Gloucester, to pick up a physical copy!

get your hands dirty


The second annual free Family Movie and Crafts Day will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020 from 10:00am to 4:00pm in the Gloucester Meetinghouse, home of the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Kick off school vacation week with games, face painting, craft projects, and prizes. Two popular animated movies will be shown – one about toys and the other about a snowman. Enjoy refreshments all day and a free pizza lunch. Tour the historic 1806 Meetinghouse upstairs and ring the Paul Revere bell in the tower.

Presented by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation in partnership with Pathways for Children, Maritime Gloucester, and the Cape Ann Community Cinema.

Please note new location this year! The event will be held in the Meetinghouse downstairs, accessed from the side door at 10 Church Street. Parking available on the green, weather permitting, and around the Historic District.