September–Hunger Action Month–brings together community groups Awesome Rockport, Gloucester Police Dept., Rockport Exchange and We Are All In This Together to partner with The Open Door at a three-site Drive-Thru Food Drive on Saturday, September 12 from 8 am-1pm. Food drive locations include the Building Center and Market Basket in Gloucester, and Crackerjacks at Whistlestop Market in Rockport.

Community group volunteers will be on hand to collect donated items including canned tuna, 100% juice, cooking oil, tea/coffee, condiments, and baking mixes.

“Through wholesale purchase and the Greater Boston Food Bank, we are able to secure most of the staple items we need for a robust pantry distribution,” says The Open Door CEO Julie LaFontaine. “This community-wide Food Drive will add a little variety and a special treat for people hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID. In addition to tuna and 100% juice, we are asking for baking mixes, cooking oil, condiments—mayo, mustard, ketchup—coffee or tea.”

  • Patty Wall founder of We Are All In This Together states, “We are excited to be a part of this collaborative effort!  It is our hope that the Gloucester and Rockport communities can come together to comfort and support our individuals, families and vital community resources like The Open Door. “
  • Shannon Mason, representing the collaboration Awesome Rockport and Rockport Exchange says, “Awesome Rockport and Rockport Exchange are organizations committed to community and very glad to be a part of this effort!”
  • Tim Huff, Chief Financial Officer of the Building Center says, “We’re thrilled to be able to participate in this event to help those in need and raise awareness about hunger in our community especially during these challenging times.”
  • Gloucester Police Lieutenant Jeremiah Nicastro of the Gloucester Police Community Impact Unit states, “The job of the community impact unit is to improve the quality of life of the citizens in our community, and there is no better way to do this but to collaborate, partner, and support agencies that help people in our community like The Open Door.” 

Since mid-March, The Open Door has stabilized more than 5,000 households providing more than 750K meals through more than 15,000 curbside distributions and/or deliveries from their pantries to people in 10 Essex County cities and towns. The kitchen has prepared and distributed more than 20K fresh dinners.  The cumulative service total for people reached over these six months is more than 25K.  The Community Meal program has undergone a FOUR-FOLD increase, and Summer Meals for Kids (extended through mid-September when schools start) has increased FIVE-FOLD serving children under the age of 18 free breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. 

LIGHT THE CITY ORANGE! Members of the community are also encouraged to wear orange on Hunger Action Day (Sept 10) and Gloucester City Hall will light the city orange.

Hunger Action Month focuses food bank and food pantry efforts across the country to raise the awareness of hunger in their own communities including those new to hunger due to COVID. This year, it also honors the local volunteers and staff working on the frontlines to ensure all are fed.