Fresh produce — and much more
Judy’s Pantry held its special open-door Thanksgiving on Nov. 25 in our church, offering bags of fresh produce, fruits, cans of cranberry sauce and pumpkin, and overflowing baskets with turkeys, stuffing and every imaginable holiday ingredient for 40 Cape families.
This was the third year the pantry has offered the Thanksgiving spread for Cape individuals and families who have limited resources and are often struggling to eat healthy food.
Judy’s Pantry, coordinated by Nancy Miles, provided the bags of produce and some of the non-perishable items while the baskets with turkeys, stuffing and other Thanksgiving fixings were provided from a food drive by families throughout the Cape and organized by Jen Tinsman and Amy Lombardo. Jen is the grand-daughter-in-law of Ginny Jordan.
In addition to the bags they assembled, the Judy’s Pantry volunteers all baked holiday breads to offer to each of the families and individuals.
Bags with the fresh produce were decorated by Girl Scout troops 1530 and 1467 from the Cape.
One new element at this year’s Thanksgiving at the pantry was a gift basket filled with canned fruits, sauces, pickles and bread mixes. It was donated to the pantry and everyone who came to pick up their Thanksgiving meal could place their name in a bucket from which someone would be selected to take home the basket on the next pantry date.
In addition to the baskets of turkeys and fixings Jen and Amy delivered for distribution at the pantry, there were more than 100 other Thanksgiving baskets in Jen’s barn that were to be delivered to agencies throughout the Portland area, including Opportunity Alliance, My Sister’s Keeper and other social welfare agencies.
While most of the bags and baskets at the pantry were picked up by individuals and families, some were delivered directly to the homes of people who were unable to travel to the church.
Another food drive from the Cape that provided 37 boxes of food for future use by Judy’s Pantry came from the Pond Cove Elementary School. Each grade level from kindergarten to fourth grade was assigned a particular food to gather, including fruits, cereal, peanut butter and jelly and soups and stews. The boxes were delivered on Nov. 25 and stored in the basement of the parsonage for pantry use during the next few months.
When clients of the pantry picked up their Thanksgiving bags at the church, they received one other surprise. Inside each bag was an announcement from the Church of the Nazarene in the Cape, explaining that the church will host a Loaves and Fishes supper each Tuesday evening from 6-7 p.m. beginning Jan. 6 through March 31, at no cost. Everyone is invited to share a meal and fellowship.
Thank you to all who have made this Thanksgiving a memorable one for so many!
Judy’s Pantry will be closed on Dec. 2 and 23, but will be open on Dec. 9, 16 and 30 from 3-5 p.m. Beginning in January, the pantry will be open only on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. It will return to an every Tuesday schedule in late spring.