January is a time of reflection and action. We reflect on the past year, thinking about the good, the bad, the successes, the failures, the joys and the sorrows. We think about how to improve things going forward. What actions can we take today to make the new year brighter, more productive, and more compassionate?
For the volunteers and leadership at the food pantry, we focus on showing our gratitude to the Wakefield community for its unending support in helping our neighbors in need. We also think about ways to inspire our community and be more effective and efficient in serving our clients without losing our emphasis on ensuring their privacy, dignity and confidentiality.
2014 continued to be a busy one. During the fiscal year, the pantry served 582 families who visited us over 5,000 times. We also gave out more than 16,000 bags of food weighing nearly 184,000 pounds. In addition, our partnership with the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) allows us to use our financial donations very wisely as we are able to purchase $4.00 worth of food at the GBFB for just $1.00. During the recent holiday season, 188 Thankgiving and 180 Christmas decorated food baskets were distributed to clients.
Food insecurity is a serious concern nationally and right here in Wakefield. Our clients are seniors, families with children, individuals, the unemployed and the employed who just can’t make ends meet. They are retirees on a fixed income and people with disabilities. They are your neighbors. Some might be friends. But they all need a helping hand and we are honored to be able to offer that hand.
The only way we’ve been able to accomplish this is with the help of so many people in Wakefield. We thank each every one of you who have been able to provide food and financial donations; those who have sponsored food drives and participated in our Holiday Basket, Kids First and Senior Supplies programs; and, those who volunteer and serve on our Board of Directors. Looking into the new year, we will continue to reach out to the Wakefield community to support our mission and we know that you will respond with action, compassion, and strength.
Many thanks and best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year from the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry staff, volunteers and Board of Directors.