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!

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.

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. 

### 

The Open Door Honors Outstanding Volunteers, Local Groups At Virtual Event 

No Eggs Benefit Serves as Alternative to Autumn Breakfast 

Pat, left, and Tom Cronin, of Gloucester, are The Open Door Unsung Heroes of 2021. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door) 

GLOUCESTER — As the pandemic wore on this year and local people continue to face hunger insecurity day after day, an army of volunteers and community organizations have played a key role in keeping their neighbors fed. 

The Open Door 2021 Community Award Winners, announced at the nonprofit’s virtual No Eggs Benefit event, have made a profound difference in hunger relief amid the evolving pandemic and as programs of the nonprofit have continued to adapt to meet the hunger needs of the community today. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers and organizations help The Open Door deliver on its mission, and the following awards recognize only a few each year.

“This year, our award-winning community partners and local heroes demonstrate what can happen when people really care about their neighbors and have the compassion and grit to get things done,” The Open Door President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “As we strive to get a foothold on the pandemic, these individuals have been instrumental in consistently providing good, healthy food to our community. We are deeply thankful to each of them and are pleased to honor their contributions to our mission.” 

The 2021 Community Award Winners are as follows: 

  • Helen Muise Community Service Award Winners: Mari Bergeron, of Gloucester; Jessica Lanier, of Rockport; Rosemary Gibbons, of Gloucester; and Lisa Alcock, of Gloucester.  
  • Mari Bergeron: Bergeron is the Senior Director of International Content Licensing at EBSCO Information Services, volunteered pre-pandemic and returned in full-force when COVID-19 hit. Packing groceries in The Open Door Fulfillment Center and delivering groceries, she has demonstrated herself to be a natural leader with a profound drive to help keep people fed.  
  • Jessica Lanier: Retired from a career in the film industry and as an Art History Professor, Lanier started volunteering in February. A regular, hardworking volunteer in the Fulfillment Center, she consistently goes above and beyond, often taking on extra hours to get the job done and get groceries packaged for pickup and delivery on-time.  

“I think to give your time is the most valuable thing because nobody has enough time,” Lanier said. “I leave here feeling like I did something meaningful. I just love it here. I’m going to volunteer forever.” 

  • Rosemary Gibbons: Gibbons has volunteered with The Open Door for about six years, most recently in the Fulfillment Center. She says her parents instilled the value of giving back early on in her life, and she is known for her acute attention to detail and the care she brings to each shift. 
  • Lisa Alcock: Alcock has been volunteering at Second Glance since 2015. A retired High School English teacher, this summer she found herself tapping into her skills as an educator to support a F1rstJobs grant recipient, a recent high school graduate with autism spectrum disorder who spent about 15 hours a week at Second Glance. Staff at Second Glance nominated her for the award in honor of the sincere thought and consideration she put into her mentorship role. 
  • Charlotte Pope Service Award: Kent Knight. Knight, of Gloucester, became a volunteer shortly after his wife, Lisa Soli, passed away from ALS at the age of 58 in May 2020. He knew there was a need for food assistance as a result of the pandemic, and started delivering groceries. He is known as a dedicated volunteer, who is always happy to lend an extra hand and step up when help is needed. 
  • Unsung Heroes: Pat and Tom Cronin. Pat Cronin, of Gloucester, volunteered pre-pandemic, and she and her husband, Tom Cronin, of Gloucester, signed up to deliver groceries as a driver and delivery person duo when COVID-19 hit. She continues to volunteer regularly. In September 2020, Tom Cronin got even more involved and over the course of ten months put in countless hours to help The Open Door research and implement SmartChoice ™ at The Open Door, which launched this June. The new online ordering system connects clients today to more food choices than ever before to expand both access and equity. The Cronins have made a significant difference in connecting local people to good, healthy food, not only in 2021 but for years to come.  
  • Sustainability Partner of the Year: Rockport Mortgage Corporation. Rockport Mortgage Corporation was nominated for this award because of their expanding role in supporting local hunger relief efforts. A long-time supporter of The Open Door, Rockport Mortgage Corporation kicked it up a notch during the pandemic to sponsor fresh fish from local business Fisherman’s Wharf Gloucester. Now, every other week, our Friday Fish Community Meals is a standout favorite among clients.  
  • Outstanding Community Partner: Institution for Savings. Institution for Savings was nominated for this award for their steadfast desire to alleviate hunger in the communities they serve and the extraordinary steps they have taken to make a meaningful impact, keeping people fed with good, healthy food. Institution for Savings has had a long and hands-on role in supporting the mission of The Open Door. Along with ongoing financial support from programs to capital campaigns, pre-pandemic, Institution for Savings staff regularly participated in corporate engagement at The Open Door, from preparing Community Meals to participating in annual bowl paintings for the Empty Bowl Dinner, and holding food drive collections at their local offices. 

For more information about The Open Door 2021 Award Winners and their impact on local hunger relief, visit FOODPANTRY.org/noeggs 

About the Virtual No Eggs Benefit Event 

Pre-pandemic, annual volunteer award winners were honored at The Open Door Autumn Breakfast. The Open Door is not holding the in-person event this year due to the ongoing, evolving pandemic. However, The Open Door is honoring its awardees and their stories through its virtual alternative: the No Eggs Benefit! Along with the volunteer stories, local sponsors have contributed $25,000 to match every donation dollar-for-dollar. To donate to help local families stay hunger-free this holiday season and beyond, or learn more about the No Eggs Benefit, visit FOODPANTRY.org/noeggs.  

Donations are being matched by sponsors of The Open Door including the Institution for Savings, John Rando, Tom and Kristin Zarrella, Joset Corporation, Cape Ann Lobstermen, Pratty’s C.A.V., Building Center, Cape Ann Savings Bank, The Pratt Team, Bob and Carolyn Stewart, and CSL. 

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

### 

Mari Bergeron, of Gloucester, is a 2021 Helen Muise Community Service Award recipient. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door) 
Jessica Lanier, of Rockport, is a 2021 Helen Muise Community Service Award recipient. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door) 
Rosemary Gibbons, of Gloucester, is a 2021 Helen Muise Community Service Award recipient. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door) 
Lisa Alcock, of Gloucester, is a 2021 Helen Muise Community Service Award recipient. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door) 
Kent Knight, of Gloucester, is the 2021 Charlotte Pope Service Award recipient. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door) 
The team at Rockport Mortgage Corporation. Rockport Mortgage Corporation is The Open Door 2021 Sustainability Partner of the Year. 
Institution for Savings President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Jones. Institution for Savings is The Open Door 2021 Outstanding Community Partner. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door) 

How to Thrift Your Halloween Costume for an Unforgettable Look

Second Glance’s Jackie Colussi Shares Tips and Tricks for Creating a Costume from Scratch

With pumpkins on doorsteps, falling leaves and a crisp breeze in the air, the time has come to start planning your annual Halloween costume.  

For Jackie Colussi, shift leader at Second Glance, the thrift store of The Open Door, thrifting for Halloween costumes is a beloved tradition she maintained with her daughters as they grew up and enjoys to this day. She previously owned a business selling vintage items, and has a love of fashion that fuels, in part, her love of crafting an entirely unique costume.  

“We always enjoyed thrift shopping anyway. When it was Halloween time, we took it as a personal challenge,” Colussi said. “We always wanted to come up with something unique and different, and something we created ourselves. It took time and imagination, and we had fun doing it.”  

She says one of her favorite thrifted costumes was a dead prom queen look her daughter once wore, which included an all-gray formal outfit and a poufy veil. 

“You’re only limited, in my opinion, by your imagination,” Colussi said. “You might have to purchase some makeup or fake blood, but it definitely makes for an interesting costume. I think there’s a lot to be said for buying and reusing as well, and its more cost efficient.”

“There’s not a lot a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun can’t do,” she added.

Colussi also says for many, thrifting for a costume at Second Glance is a more meaningful experience, because patrons know all revenue supports the programs at The Open Door and helps feed local people. 

For those looking to thrift their costume this year, Colussi has shared tips and tricks for getting started: 

  1. Brainstorm costume ideas before you shop. Go to the thrift store with a few costume ideas in mind and know what you might need to build that costume. Colussi says this is particularly helpful for parents and guardians shopping for a young child’s costume. 
  2. Keep an open mind. She says you never know what you mind find, or what item(s) might stick out to you as you browse. 
  1. Give yourself time and don’t limit yourself to the clothing section. Don’t rush the creative process—part of the fun is browsing the various clothing departments, accessories, jewelry, shoes, fabric, art supplies, household wares, and so on that could be turned into clothing and props for your costume.  
  2. Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to turn your costume into an art project or re-imagine something. For example: a curtain or lace tablecloth can be cut and sewn to suit a wide variety of costumes, fake flowers can be fashioned into a flower crown, and a large frame without a painting or photo in it can be perfect for someone who would like to dress up as a painting themselves. 
  3. Don’t forget the classics. She says classic Halloween costumes, like a witch or warlock, are often easy to shop for at a thrift store as black tops and dresses are almost always in stock, and accessories can be found to suit the look too. 

Once you have your costume ready, don’t forget to enter Second Glance’s Halloween contest! Details below.

Second Glance Halloween Costume Contest Details:  

Second Glance is holding its FIRST EVER Halloween Costume Contest this year. To enter, participants must create a costume using at least one item from Second Glance, post a photo on Instagram and tag the thrift store at @secondglancethriftstore. The deadline for entry is midnight on Oct. 31, and the winner will be announced Nov. 1 on Instagram after being selected by a small panel of staff and volunteers. The winner will receive a $50 Second Glance Gift Card. 

Questions? Give us a call at 978-283-4298.  

SmartChoice™ at The Open Door Modernizes Pantry Shopping

New Online Ordering System Returns Agency to Shoppers

GLOUCESTER — A new online ordering system at The Open Door has expanded choice more than ever before for client shoppers.

SmartChoice™ at The Open Door launched this June and allows clients to place a weekly grocery order that matches any special dietary needs they may have as well as their taste. Clients select from featured items, fruit and juices, vegetables, protein and dairy, ready-to-eat items, grains and cereal, baking, snacks, condiments, special dietary items, pet supplies, household supplies, health and hygiene products, baby food and supplies, and miscellaneous items.

Once clients sign into SmartChoice™ at The Open Door at FOODPANTRY.org/order, they can use the above menu to create their weekly grocery order. (Image Courtesy of
The Open Door)

“When people choose their own groceries, we know they’re getting the food they’ll eat and enjoy to thrive,” President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “We’re proud to have this new resource for our clients.”

Before the online ordering system became available, The Open Door provided bags of pre-selected groceries for clients starting in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. This was done through a Curbside, No-Contact model used at both the Gloucester and Ipswich food pantries, and protected the health and well-being of clients, volunteers, and staff alike while also expanding the nonprofit’s capacity to meet increased need. While the curbside model was necessary to feed more people, it left shoppers with less personal choice.

At the height of the pandemic, The Open Door met a 40% increase in need for food resources, and continues to meet ongoing need.

Today, clients are still picking-up their groceries at either site or receiving deliveries if they qualify for The Open Door grocery and meal delivery program. However, SmartChoice™ at The Open Door brings more choice to the table than ever before. It accounts for every item available in The Open Door’s inventory, working seamlessly in partnership with the warehouse. Grocery orders are managed by the Fulfillment Center, where staff and volunteers package grocery orders Monday through Friday.

Volunteer Laurie Fenton prepares a grocery order placed via SmartChoice™ at
The Open Door. (Image Courtesy of The Open Door)

Translation services are available over the phone in many languages. Those without internet access, with questions, or who prefer to place their order by phone are welcome to do so by calling 978-283-6776.   

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.

Programs of The Open Door include two food pantries (located in Gloucester and in Ipswich), 12 Mobile Markets, Community Meals, SNAP Application assistance and Advocacy, Medically Tailored Groceries, Nutrition Education, Therapy and Counseling, Food Rescue, Summer Meals for Kids, On Your Mark Job Training and Internships, Holiday Baskets, Senior Soup & Salad, (NEW) SmartChoice™ at The Open Door and (NEW) Grocery and Meal Delivery. Second Glance, the thrift store of The Open Door, provides revenue for the organization, referrals for people in need, and recycles textiles and other materials.

For more information, visit FOODPANTRY.org.  

###

 

Empty Bowl TO GO

EMPTY BOWL TO GO on Saturday, May 22, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at The Open Door (28 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester)

A new twist on an old tradition. Join The Open Door to mark the 20th Anniversary of this beloved community event. Empty Bowl TO GO is a by-appointment-only, drive-thru experience held this year at The Open Door, 28 Emerson Avenue in Gloucester.

Last year, thousands of people faced the uncertain drive to a food pantry for the first time. On May 22, guests will follow the same route down Emerson Avenue that became a lifeline for so many during the pandemic to pick up your simple meal—soup, bread, and a cookie at The Open Door. As always, the bowl will go home as a reminder that somewhere, someone’s bowl is empty.

Tickets: This year has been hard on the pocketbook, so we are pleased to offer “pay-what-you-can” tickets so everyone can enjoy this community tradition. You must have a ticketed reservation! www.foodpantry.org

For each ticket you reserve, you will receive:

  • A beautiful bowl made with love, randomly selected and prepackaged.
  • Homemade soup—chowder, chicken, vegan, or gluten-free—ready for you to take home and reheat.
  • Bread, cookie, and a bottle of water to round out your meal.

As always, the bowl will go home as a reminder that somewhere someone’s bowl is empty.

Cape Ann Artists’ Bowls Online Auction!

Artists have once again come to the table with unique bowls for auction.

Bidding: www.biddingowl.com/theopendoor

A display of the auction bowls is available for viewing at Cape Ann Savings Bank. The auction will be open through May 31 for your bidding pleasure. No matter where you live, you can bid! Shipping options are available.

Finding Practical Solutions to Ending Food Waste: A Panel Discussion hosted by Sawyer Free Libary and Backyard Growers

Did you know 33% of all food produced globally is lost or wasted? Food waste is central to some of the key challenges facing the world today, including hunger and poverty, climate change, health and wellbeing, and the sustainability of agriculture and oceans.

To bring attention to this growing global problem, the Sawyer Free Library and Backyard Growers are co-hosting a virtual panel discussion around the topic of food waste on Thursday, April 28, from 6-7 pm.  The live virtual presentation is free and open to the public. Click here to register.

Moderated by Lara Lepionka, Founder & Executive Director, Backyard Growers, the program will provide both broad knowledge and a local perspective of the issues of food waste, along with some actionable steps individuals can take to help make a difference in its reduction. 

The program panelists include Andrew Brousseau, Partner, Compost Manager, Black Earth Compost, Brittany Peats, Program Manager, MA Food System Collaborative, and Gary Sprague, Food Acquisition and Distribution Manager, The Open Door.  Each panelist will have the opportunity to talk about their community organization’s focus and practical recommendations to address the critical issue of food waste in our community.

Following their remarks, there will be a moderated Q&A session.  For more information on the Finding Practical Solutions to End Food Waste Panel Discussion and the Library’s other programs and offerings, please visit sawyerfreelibray.org