HARWICH – As The Chronicle's Helping Neighbors campaign draws to a close, the response, pushing the program's total fundraising for the Family Pantry of Cape Cod over the years to more than $1 million, was cause to celebrate.
“This year the results were terrific,” said Family Pantry Director Christine Menard. The money raised will provide more than 278,000 meals for Cape families in the new year, she said, helping to keep hunger at bay for many local residents.
“Our readers have really stepped up this season,” said Chronicle Publisher Henry C. Hyora. The campaign exceeded its $50,000 goal by more than $14,000, and brought many new donors into the fold. “We hope they continue to remember the Pantry in years to come,” Hyora said.
“The Chronicle is a wonderful supporter of the pantry and we are grateful to everyone who contributed to the campaign and helped to feed those in need across the Cape,” Menard said. The Pantry serves almost 500 families a week, she added.
The Pantry had an additional surprise last week when celebrity chef Ben Robinson donated 80 turkeys and 25 rib eye steaks. In an interview on Boston's Channel 10, Robinson said the realization that millions of people in the U.S. go hungry prompted him and his team to research local organization, resulting in the Pantry donation.
“I realized for the cost of one apron I could give a family in need a Christmas dinner by way of a turkey. Not everyone can afford a big beautiful turkey,” said Robinson, who has appeared on Bravo’s “Below Deck” and “Below Deck Mediterranean” series. “It was a wonderful thing to do and it actually brought my family together.”
“His donation was just in time for Christmas,” said Menard. “The holidays are a rough time for many families on the Cape, we are grateful for Ben's donation at this critical time of the year.”