Thanksgiving at the Pantry


A feast for all to enjoy

For the fourth year, Judy’s Pantry, operating out of Fellowship Hall in our church, provided a complete Thanksgiving on Nov. 24 for families in Cape Elizabeth, offering bags of produce and baskets with turkeys, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, sweet potatoes and all the holiday fixings.

This year the Pantry served 45 families who have limited resources and are often struggling to eat healthy meals. That was five more families than last year and 15 more than in 2013.


Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles, second from right, and some of the many volunteers who helped with this year’s Thanksgiving give-away.

Judy’s Pantry provided the bags of produce from Jordan’s Farm, including carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions, apples and squash while the baskets of turkeys and all the other fixings were provided by a food drive by families throughout Cape Elizabeth and organized by Jen Tinsman and Amy Lombardo. Jen is the grand-daughter-in-law of Ginny Jordan.


In addition to the 43 baskets that were delivered to the Pantry, Jen and Amy’s food drive provided another nearly 100 baskets to other families around the Cape and to various agencies in the Greater Portland area, including The Root Cellar and Opportunity Alliance.

In addition to the turkeys, the baskets included apple and pumpkin pies, Jello, pudding, potatoes, stuffing, hot chocolate, oranges, salad dressing, sparkling cider, chips, crackers, paper towels and napkins, aluminum roasting pans and rolls.


Every family that came to the Pantry also received mini loaves of freshly made Thanksgiving breads made by volunteers at the Pantry and members of our church. Nancy Miles was hoping for 60 loaves of bread and received 120!


Most of the families who regularly attend the Pantry came to the church to pick up their Thanksgiving bags and baskets. But for those who were not able to make it to the church, the bags and baskets were delivered to their homes by Pantry volunteers, including three by the Rev. Ruth Morrison and several by Frank Miles, Nancy’s husband.


All of the bags of produce were decorated by Lisa Stevens’ Girl Scout Troops (1530 and 1467) and included themed activities, such as crossword puzzles, place mats and crayons.


And to meet the needs of all families who count on the Pantry, some baskets included gift certificates instead of turkey and at least one included a Kosher turkey.


Jordan’s Farm, which has been donating fresh produce to the Pantry ever since it opened in 2010, helped to fill the bags with many donations of produce and provided even more at a considerable discount. Jordan’s contributions included 100 pounds of potatoes, 100 pounds of carrots, 142 pounds of acorn squash, 40 pounds of onions, 120 pounds of apples, and 40 pounds of purple-topped turnips.


Thank you to everyone who made this incredible outpouring of holiday cheer and assistance to so many throughout the Cape. A special thanks to members of the church who made mini loaves of bread and contributed other non-perishable items. And a Thanksgiving-style thanks to Nancy Miles and her Pantry volunteers: Donna Savage, Eileen Taft, Suzanne McGinn and her two sons, Nancy Johnson, Deb Murphy, Jerry Phair, Frank Miles, Lisa Connolly, Marti and Tom Myers, Beth Owens, Nelle Huber, and Joanne and Mark Woodward.


Judy’s Pantry will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and Tuesday, Dec. 8 and will be closed again on Tuesday, Dec. 22. It will operate as usual on Tuesdays, Dec. 15 and 29.

Beginning in January, the Pantry will begin its off-season schedule, being open only on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month through June — when fresh produce will once again be available and the Pantry will be open every Tuesday.

Click here for more information on the Pantry: Pantry

Categories: General