In striving to improve services to our clients, we have recently extended our evening hours. Evening hours will now include Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 pm. This change provides those clients who are working more opportunities to visit and secure necessary food items.
This year will mark the 22nd national Letter Carrier Food Drive, Stamp Out Hunger, to be held this year on Saturday, May 10, 2014. The concept behind the drive is simple: you leave non-perishable food donations at your mailbox—and the letter carriers take care of the rest. Last year, the National Letter Carriers Association collected more than 74 million pounds of food to help restock food banks, pantries and shelters around the country.
The Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry relies on this drive to help stock its shelves and get ready for the summer months when food donations and drives tend to decrease.
“Wakefield is very fortunate to have letter carriers who are willing to pick up and deliver many pounds of food, along with their regular mail delivery each year,” commented Maureen Miller, WIFP Director of Operations. “We’d like to thank each and every one of them for their help again this year.”
In addition, the pantry relies on many volunteers to help sort and stock the food that comes in after the letter carriers deliver the food.
For over thirty years, the food pantry has been focused on eliminating hunger in Wakefield by providing a variety of food and other items to those in need. Approximately 530 households rely on the food pantry for supplemental food and groceries. About 900 people are served each month including more than 330 children of which more than half are under the age of 12. Non-perishable food can be dropped off at the pantry at the Americal Civic Center (lower level) on 467 Main Street in Wakefield, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Also, Saturday food drives are often held from 10 a.m. to noon both at the pantry and other locations around Wakefield. For more information about the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry, please visit www.wakefieldfoodpantry.org.
Please be generous and help Stamp Out Hunger on May 10th.
The Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry was lucky enough to be a recipient of the generosity of three children who truly care about being kind and caring for their neighbors in need. Two bags of change were taped to the pantry doors to share their “random act of kindness”. What a great way to kick off the new year!
The food pantry was featured in the December issue of the new Wakefield Life magazine. At this time the magazine is sent to 5,000 homes in Wakefield and contributors for free. If you didn’t receive a copy you can sign up for an annual subscription for $27.99 by calling 800-929-3556.
30th Year Commemoration – Watch the 30th Year Commemoration Video on YouTube
Thirty years ago the Mission Committee of the First Baptist Church opened their doors to those in need by setting up a pantry. This was in response to the many calls for help that Reverend Keech was receiving asking for food assistance. The first pantry was actually a metal supply shelf filled with the canned food donated each Sunday by parishioners of the Baptist Church. During it’s first year the food pantry helped 17 households. Unfortunately, the need continued to grow and it grew rapidly.
Soon the First Baptist realized it needed the community at large to assist with the pantry. As a result the WakefieldINTERFAITH food pantry was formed. Each month a different congregation was responsible for stocking and providing food to those Wakefield residents who were in need. By 2001, the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry was incorporated into a 501-3(c) non-profit with members from all congregations and the community on its board. In 2010, the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry moved to larger accommodations at the AmericalCivicCenterto allow for use of the Greater Boston Food Bank, more storage, refrigeration and longer hours.
We reside in the wonderful community of Wakefieldthat has never failed to provide the pantry with food and donations allowing us to serve those in need among us. Since 1982 this community has supported the pantry through food drives, community events and donations. Though it is bittersweet that we have been in existence for 30 years, it is heartwarming that we have always been able to help those in needs for that time period.
We are thankful for the many people who donate to the pantry through food or money. Our average donation is approximately $50 and we process over 16,000 lbs of food each month. This would not be possible without our individual donors and without the help of organizations such as Keurig, Shaws, Gathering Change and the Rotary.
Thirty years ago in 1982, a dedicated group of volunteers cleared out a small cabinet in the basement of the First Baptist Church.With help from the community, they stocked it with food and opened the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry (WIFP) with only one goal:to eliminate hunger in our town.Through the years, the pantry has provided much needed food items to those in need and doing it with care, dignity and respect.
Nearly 70 people, including volunteers, donors, supporters and Board leadership, gathered together at Wakefield Community Access TV(WCAT) to celebrate the debut of a new video (Hunger Hurts:A Community Responds) that shares the history of the WIFP and highlights the issue of hunger in our own community.The video was enthusiastically received as a much needed educational tool to share with the entire town.WCAT will air the video during these times on Channel 3:
The WIFP would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the many people who volunteered their time, talent and money to make this video:
The Video Committee:Julie Bernardin (Chair), Flow Calore, Wendy Dennis, Elaine Gauetta, Jane Good, Beth Hendriks, Linda McManama, Maureen Miller and Sue Warden.
Supporters:WCAT, Wakefield Cooperative Bank, the Wakefield Community which has supported the WIFP throughout its 30 years.
Contributors:Keurig, Elizabeth Lowrey (artist), Robyn Mather (marketing & branding consultant), Kelly Morgan (Narrator), Paul Reavis (Wakefield Town Hall), Shaws of Wakefield, Lee Martin (musician), WCAT (producer and video consultant)
“Once again, many talented and generous people stepped up to help the pantry with a major project,” said Maureen Miller, WIFP Director of Operations. “Everyone who views this video will get a sense of the heart and soul of the pantry’s mission from the very beginning and as it continues today.Our founders were instrumental in creating an organization dedicated to helping our neighbors in need with respect, privacy and care and we carry on thattradition.”
This video also highlights a number of real-life situations where local citizens found the support and food they needed at the pantry. “Everyone needs a helping hand now and again.A job layoff, a disabling accident, the high cost of prescription drugs or medical care, skyrocketing oil bills during a cold winter – any one of these events may throw even the best laid plans to the wayside. That’s when the WIFP can help. Sometimes a helping hand is all you need to get back on your feet,” explained Miller.
In addition to the WCAT viewing times, the pantry is working to expand distribution of the video to the business community as well as the schools and houses of worship.For more information about the video, contact Maureen Miller at 781-245-2510.
If you are a Wakefield resident and are in need of food, you can receive assistance from the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry. The food pantry stocks non-perishable and perishable food items. Twice a month, clients are eligible to receive a 4-5 day supply of groceries for themselves.
The Food Pantry is located on the lower level of the: