Cape Ann Veterans: Don’t Miss The Open Door’s Thank You for Your Service Mobile Market!

The Open Door will hold a Mobile Market this November thanking Cape Ann veterans for their service, in honor of Veterans Day.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 16 from noon to 1 p.m.

WHERE: Cape Ann Veterans Services at 12 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester MA

WHAT: All those on Cape Ann who have served in the military are welcome to stop by The Open Door Thank You for Your Service Mobile Market. A selection of fresh, delicious fruit, vegetables, and eggs will be available for veterans to choose from.

Questions? Contact The Open Door at 978-283-6776.

Pet Food Drive THIS SUNDAY 8/7

A pet food drive organized by PAWsitive Pantry this weekend will collect cat and dog food to benefit The Open Door and Cape Ann Animal Aid.

Help us stock our shelves so that we have the food people need for their pets! Dogs and cats are part of the family, so lets make sure everyone gets the meals they need.

Donations will be accepted Sunday August 7 at the Shaws on Eastern Ave. in Gloucester from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thank you!

FREE SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS!

From left: Summer Meals for Kids intern Rachel Ellis, Summer Meals for Kids Coordinator Eileen Campbell, intern Harley Pereira, and intern Ryn Montgomery. 

Need help getting breakfast and lunch meals for your kids over the summer break? The Open Door is here to help with Summer Meals for Kids!

Back for its 21st season, Summer Meals for Kids provides nutritious meals to local kids by visiting local neighborhoods, schools, and summer camps to make sure children have access to meals while school is out.

The Summer Meals for Kids program strives to accommodate all allergies and special diets, and to learn more about the program or inform staff of a dietary need, please call 978-283-6776 or email summermeals@foodpantry.org

Meals will be provided, at a first come, first serve basis, at the sites and times as follows:  

Gloucester Walk-Up Locations (operating from June 22 to August 26) 

  • The Open Door at 28 Emerson Avenue will serve meals Monday through Friday. Monday through Wednesday meals will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and meals will be available Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Riverdale Park at 69 Veterans’ Way will have meals available from 12-12:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
  • Willowood Gardens at 40 Willowood Road will have meals available from 12-12:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
  • Pond View Village at 23 Lepage Lane will have meals available from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Gloucester Enrolled Locations 

  • Summer Learning at West Parish at 10 Concord Street will have meals available for enrolled participants at noon, Monday through Thursday. Summer Meals for Kids will operate from June 27 to July 28 at this site.  
  • O’Maley Academy at 32 Cherry Street will have meals available for enrolled participants from 8-8:30 a.m. and 11-11:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday. Summer Meals for Kids will operate from June 27 to August 4 at this site.  
  • Kindred Gardens at 5 Dr Osman Babson Road will have meals available for enrolled participants from 9-10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Monday through Friday. Summer Meals for Kids will operate from June 22 to August 26 at this site.  
  • Camp Spindrift at 27 Atlantic Street will have meals available for participants from 11:30 a.m.-1p.m., Monday through Friday. Summer Meals for Kids will operate from June 23 to August 26 at this site. 
  • Gloucester High School at 32 Leslie O. Johnson Road will have meals available for enrolled participants Monday through Thursday. Summer Meals for Kids will operate from June 27 to August 4 at this site.  

Ipswich Walk-Up Location (operating from June 22 to August 26) 

  • Ipswich Community Food Pantry at 00 Southern Heights in Ipswich will have meals available from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.  

Ipswich Enrolled Location 

  • Winthrop Elementary School at 65 Central Street in Ipswich will have meals available for enrolled participants from 9-9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Summer Meals for Kids will operate from July 5 to August 4 at this location.  

The Open Door is a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsor, a federal program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA SFSP requires a non-discrimination statement that “Meals will be provided to all children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.” More information is available at FOODPANTRY.org/usda.

The Open Door Sumer Meals for Kids schedule will be updated as needed throughout the summer at FOODPANTRY.org/summermeals

SUMMER FUN: Visit the Seaside Vintage Market at Second Glance!

Don’t miss out on the thrifting event of the summer! Second Glance, Thrift Store of The Open Door, is holding a Seaside Vintage Market next week.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 22 through Saturday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Second Glance, Thrift Store of The Open Door at 2 Pond Road, Gloucester MA 01930

WHAT: SHOP for vintage-style home décor, kitchenware, art, jewelry, knickknacks, linens, clothing, accessories, and more at Second Glance’s Seaside Vintage Market!

One-of-a-kind treasures will be brought out daily for shoppers to peruse. DAILY shopping themes will be held as follows:

Wednesday: Opening Day

Thursday: Linens

Friday: Vintage Kitchen

Saturday: Silver and Gold Jewelry

Revenue at Second Glance directly supports hunger-relief programs of The Open Door. SHOP FOR GOOD, and know your dollars will help put food on the table for someone in our community.

More information about The Open Door is available at FOODPANTRY.org.

This Weekend: Stamp Out Hunger Cape Ann & Ipswich!

Donate food without having to leave your front yard this weekend through Stamp Out Hunger!

If you live in Gloucester, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, or Rockport, you can help put food on the table for people in your community by leaving a bag of food donations by your mailbox on the morning of SATURDAY MAY 14. Donations will be transported to The Open Door by your local letter carrier.

Stamp Out Hunger is an annual Food Drive organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Most needed items include: coffee, condiments, cooking oil, peanut butter, and tuna.

Please, no glass containers!

“Stamp Out Hunger is a unique opportunity for members of the community to make a food donation, without having to leave their front yard. It’s traditionally a hugely successful food drive for us, and it’s all possible because our local letter carriers are willing to go the extra mile to put food on the table for others,” President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “We’re deeply thankful to partner with them on this event and for their dedication to alleviating the impact of hunger locally.”

The Open Door is also seeking volunteers to sort donations on Saturday, and those interested in volunteering may email volunteer@foodpantry.org.

“This is the largest single day food drive in the United States,” said Bruce Johnson, a retired Gloucester letter carrier who continues to help coordinate NALC Branch 25’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive on Cape Ann. “The timing is crucial because food pantries can face shortages in the spring and summer months after a long winter, and most school programs are not available in the summer. It’s a good time to fill the shelves at the food pantries.”

If you live outside the above communities, contact your local post office to learn if they are participating in Stamp Out Hunger.

More information about The Open Door is available at FOODPANTRY.org.

Looking for something fun to do this May? The Open Door Empty Bowl TO GO 2.0 and Online Auction are fun-filled, meaningful traditions you won’t want to miss

The Open Door Empty Bowl Online Auction is LIVE!

More than 40 beautiful bowls created by beloved Cape Ann artists are available to be bid on, all to raise funds in support of The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids and Mobile Market programs.

Empty Bowl TO GO 2.0 is less than a month away!

Join in for a fun-filled drive-thru event! Ticket holders will receive a hand-painted bowl, soup, bread, cookie, and a water bottle. All proceeds support The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids and Mobile Market programs.

The bowls go home with participants as a reminder:

Somewhere, someone’s bowl is empty.

More information about the event below:

WHEN: Saturday May 7 from 4-6 p.m.

WHERE: The Open Door at 28 Emerson Ave., Gloucester MA 01930

Questions? Visit FOODPANTRY.org or call 978-283-6776.

Thank you!

Local Groups Paint for Empty Bowl To Go 2.0

Manchester Memorial fourth grade student Miles Harrison helps preschool student Quinn Reishtein paint a bowl. (Photo Courtesy of Claudette Yutkins)  

MANCHESTER– Preschool and fourth grade students at Manchester Memorial Elementary School recently teamed up to put their creative talents to use, and painted bowls for The Open Door Empty Bowl To Go 2.0 fundraiser. 

The annual fundraiser will be held as a drive-thru for the second time this year due to the pandemic. 

“There’s a special sense of community that comes from joining together and using your creativity to help someone else,” President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “The bowls serve as a reminder that somewhere, someone’s bowl is empty, but with a paintbrush, a little imagination, and a desire to help, you can support a fundraiser that puts fresh, healthy food in the hands of your neighbors.” 

In 2021, The Open Door provided 1.83 million pounds of food to 8,516 people from 4,176 families. Empty Bowl To Go 2.0 supports programs of The Open Door including its Mobile Market and Summer Meals for Kids programs. Last year, the Mobile Market distributed 179,053 pounds of food to underserved neighborhoods, senior centers, housing authorities, and schools. The new Farmers Truck will provide further expansion of the Mobile Market program into additional locations with identified needs. In 2021, the Summer Meals for Kids program provided more than 30,000 meals to local children. 

Students at Manchester Memorial painted 25 bowls for the Empty Bowl To Go 2.0 event slated for May 7. 

“We just had a great time,” said Manchester Memorial Art Teacher Claudette Yutkins. “They were really happy to give something to help others.” 

Yutkins said students in particular enjoyed painting designs in the bottom of their bowls, to be enjoyed as a “surprise” when the user finishes their meal. One group of students painted a smiley face, for example. 

“It brought the whole project together,” Yutkins said. “They are trying to do something to make someone else happy—it was just cute.” 

Several area colleges and schools, community organizations, businesses, clubs and private groups have stepped up to paint bowls for the fundraiser, including: 

  • Endicott College Students 
  • Gordon College Students 
  • The Academy at Penguin Hall 
  • O’Maley Innovation Middle School 
  • Manchester Memorial School 
  • Pingree School 
  • Shore Country Day School 
  • Ipswich Rotary 
  • Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce 
  • Institution for Savings 
  • 4H Rabbit and Cavy Club 
  • Gloucester Elks 
  • Happy Valley 
  • First Congregational Church of Essex 
  • Lisa Vincent Book Club 
  • Island Garden Club 
  • Members of the community 

Please note: All slots for painting bowls for the 2022 fundraiser have been filled. 

Additionally, many local artists, potters and public officials have painted bowls for the Empty Bowl Silent Auction, set to go online for the month of May. 

Empty Bowl To Go 2.0 will be held on Saturday, May 7 from 4-6 p.m. at The Open Door at 28 Emerson Ave. Appointments will be required and available to be scheduled once pay-what-you-can ticket sales go live on April 1 at FOODPANTRY.org.  

About The Open Door  

The mission of The Open Door is to alleviate the impact of hunger in our 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. 

Founded in 1978, The Open Door is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit and community food resource center for low-income residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Boxford, Rowley, Topsfield, and Wenham. In 2021, The Open Door helped stabilize the lives and health of 8,516 people from 4,176 households 
through the distribution of 1.83 million pounds of food. 

For more information, visit FOODPANTRY.org. 

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Manchester Memorial Preschool student Sebastian Ochs, left, paints a bowl with help from fourth grade student, Makani Mitchell. (Photo Courtesy of Claudette Yutkins) 

Local Families Turn Grief into Good 

Sponsored Meals Help Alleviate Hunger in Memory of Loved Ones 

Dennis Acker places labels on Friday’s Community Meal which read “This meal is donated in loving memory of Charlene Acker.”
(Photo Courtesy of The Open Door)

GLOUCESTER – A local family is honoring a loved one today by putting dinner on the table for those in need of a little extra help.  

Friday’s Community Meal at The Open Door, a hearty ham, pineapple, vegetable stuffing, and mashed potatoes dinner, is given in loving memory of Charlene Acker by her husband Dennis Acker and daughter Maya Acker, and her father LeRoy Ross. 

Charlene Acker, age 57, passed away in October 2021 from ovarian cancer. Today would have been her 58th birthday. 

With her birthday approaching, Dennis Acker saw the opportunity for meals sponsorship on social media.  

“The minute I saw it, I knew I had to do it. It was just perfect, and I can’t think of a better way to honor her birthday,” Acker said, adding he has a few other plans this week to honor Charlene.  

The Acker roots run deep with The Open Door. Several years ago, when their daughter, Maya Acker, began looking for community service opportunities in high school, The Open Door was a natural pick as Dennis Acker had served two terms on the nonprofit’s Board of Directors, and the family had volunteered together through the years. For Maya Acker, volunteering in the kitchen to prepare dinners on Saturday night worked well with her high school schedule. Charlene Acker volunteered alongside her daughter, and it became a special activity for both of them. 

The Community Meals program sponsorship opportunity is a new initiative at The Open Door, first inspired by another family’s annual tradition. 

“We launched our Community Meals sponsorship opportunity as a way for anyone to sponsor a meal, whether they be a local business, community group, a family, and so on,” President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “To turn one’s grief into an act of kindness and to put food on the table for someone else pays tribute to the life of a loved one and makes a difference. We take this honor as a responsibility, and we are thankful to the families who choose to remember their loved ones in this way.” 

The initiative is inspired by another local family who honor a loved one each year with a meal at The Open Door. For the last four years the Testaverde family has come together to honor the late Capt. John S. Testaverde by sponsoring a Community Meal, including his wife Jean Testaverde; children Nina Testaverde Goodick, Theresa Testaverde, John Testaverde, and Mary Marcantonio; and his loving grandchildren. The group bring a cake to be sent out along with the meals, sometimes flowers, and some even sign up to deliver meals. 

As a lifelong fisherman with a passion for cooking for family and friends, Capt. Testaverde taught his children to always cook with love.  

“It was a wonderful, positive way to honor the memory of our father,” said Goodick of a previous year’s meal. “Our whole family appreciated it, and it brought joy to us, allowing us to remember him by feeding others. He was all about the food. I’m sure my family will laugh that I said that. We know he would love this.” 

While groups that once volunteered to prepare meals in-person at The Open Door kitchen are not currently able to amid the ongoing pandemic and precautions limiting the number of people in the building at a given time, The Open Door is making the Community Meals program sponsorship a formalized option for those looking to feed their neighbors in another way.  

To learn more or sponsor a Community Meal, visit FOODPANTRY.org/sponsormeals.  

About The Open Door  

The mission of The Open Door is to alleviate the impact of hunger in our 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. 

Founded in 1978, The Open Door is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit and community food resource center for low-income residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Boxford, Rowley, Topsfield, and Wenham. In 2020, The Open Door helped stabilize the lives and health of 9,681 unduplicated people from 4,703 households through the distribution of 2.46 million pounds of food, amounting to 2.05 million meals. 

For more information, visit FOODPANTRY.org. 

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North Shore Community Health Distributes Over 1,300 COVID-19 Testing Kits  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Media Contact: 

Grace Chiou 

grace.chiou@nschi.org 

(978)-744‑8388 

North Shore Community Health Distributes Over 1,300 COVID-19 Testing Kits 

NSCH Offers New Program Providing Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits for Vulnerable Populations 

SALEM, Mass. – Jan. 7, 2021 – North Shore Community Health (NSCH) through its outreach efforts is committed to its mission to serve the North Shore community outside of its own four walls. Following a round of vaccination clinics in 2021 at community partner locations, NSCH continues to fight against the spread of COVID-19 with a new program offering the weekly distribution of at-home, rapid antigen COVID-19 testing kits that are being provided through funding from the Health Resource Services Agency (HRSA). 

Area shelters and food pantries were the recipients of 1,135 tests during the first round of deliveries this week, which began on Thursday, Jan. 6. The Open Door, a food resource center based in Gloucester, received 225 tests on Thursday. Serving more than 1000 people a week, the nonprofit will stagger the COVID tests for equitable distribution beginning Monday, Jan. 10. 

“It’s connections within our community, like this partnership between The Open Door and North Shore Community Health, that help bridge the gaps in access and reach some of the community’s most vulnerable people,” The Open Door President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “As we continue to weather this pandemic, we’re pleased to take a role in facilitating better access to at-home testing so people can stay healthy this winter.” 

Kits were also made available to Lifebridge shelter and The Salem Food Pantry ; Citizen’s Inn shelter and Haven from Hunger in Peabody; Action, Inc. in Gloucester and Beverly Bootstraps Food Pantry in Beverly. 

The availability of these kits has come at a critical time. Getting timely testing for COVID-19 has never been more necessary as the Omicron virus is four times as transmissible as the Delta strand, making the spread of COVID-19 escalate rapidly.  

NSCH recommends members of the community seek out a COVID-19 test if: 

Since 1977, NSCH has been a primary source of healthcare for people of all ages and provides services regardless of ability to pay. The network of centers in Peabody, Salem, Gloucester and school-based health centers serves over 13,000 patients. 

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Jason Andree Joins The Open Door Board of Directors

Jason Andree is the newest member of The Open Door Board of Directors.  (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door) 

GLOUCESTER – The Open Door Board of Directors welcomes a new member this winter with significant leadership and management experience in the healthcare sector.  

Addison Gilbert Hospital Vice President Jason Andree, of Peabody, attended his first meeting as a member of the Board of Directors on Nov. 16. Andree has served as Vice President at Addison Gilbert since April, and is the Accreditation, Regulatory Compliance and Patient Safety Manager of the Northeast Hospital Corporation – Beth Israel Lahey Health, a role he has held since 2014. His experience includes clinical pharmacy internships, a post-doctoral fellowship, and various leadership positions. He has advanced training and experience in medication safety, patient safety, risk management quality improvement, and Lean methods. 

Andree says he was attracted to the Board position because of the common goals of the hospital and The Open Door. 

“There is a clear connection between healthcare and feeding people,” Andree said. “Looking at the services The Open Door has offered over the last several years, there’s a natural alignment with some of the services we offer at Addison Gilbert Hospital and Beth Israel Lahey Health. Serving on the Board I can be that connection between the hospital, The Open Door, and the community.” 

“Jason brings a combination of experience in healthcare and a strong background in risk management to the organization at a critical time,” President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “The Open Door alleviates the impact of hunger at the intersection of community and healthcare by providing nutritional support and good food for better health outcomes. We welcome his insight as we navigate safely and strategically to address food security as a social determinate of health through our connections, capacity, culture, and communications.” 

Andree is additionally an adjunct professor of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Healthcare Business. He holds a doctorate degree in Pharmacy from Northeastern University. 

He is also the Board Chair of the Fundraising Committee for Families for Depression Awareness, a Waltham based nonprofit, and is a member of both the American College of Health Care Executives and the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Medical Errors.  

About The Open Door  

The mission of The Open Door is to alleviate the impact of hunger in our 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. 

Founded in 1978, The Open Door is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit and community food resource center for low-income residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Boxford, Rowley, Topsfield, and Wenham. In 2020, The Open Door helped stabilize the lives and health of 9,681 unduplicated people from 4,703 households through the distribution of 2.46 million pounds of food, amounting to 2.05 million meals. 

Requests for food assistance during this pandemic year were up 27 percent. 

For more information, visit FOODPANTRY.org. 

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