HARWICH – Between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the surging price of groceries, many people throughout Cape Cod are struggling to make ends meet as the holiday season ramps up.
“It’s crazy this time of year because people are getting laid off, so that bumps the need,” Family Pantry of Cape Cod Executive Director Christine Menard said. “Ten percent of the Cape is food insecure — that’s about 23,000 people, and 10,000 of them are here. So, there’s a lot of people counting on us.”
As it does each holiday season, The Cape Cod Chronicle is encouraging its readers to contribute to the Family Pantry of Cape Cod as part of the holiday edition of its Helping Neighbors campaign.
“It’s been a rough couple of years, and many of us are looking forward to coming together this holiday season,” Chronicle Publisher Henry C. Hyora said. “When we come together — Chronicle readers, advertisers and employees — to support the Family Pantry, that’s something special.”
This year’s campaign aims to raise $100,000, about $15,000 more than last year’s campaign raised after setting a goal of $65,000. The boost in this year’s campaign goal is a direct result of the generosity of an anonymous donor who has pledged to match $50,000 worth of donations.
“We have an anonymous match for $50,000, so hopefully we’ll earn $100,000 this season,” Menard said. “Usually, I know who the match is, but I don’t for this one, so it’s really anonymous. That’s going to make a big deal — every dollar that we raise can buy four meals, so we’re pretty efficient.”
Hyora is confident the community will rally around the increased goal.
“Setting this year’s financial goal so high is a leap of faith,” he said, “but season after season, our readers dig deep for Helping Neighbors, and we know they’ll do so again this year.”
Menard said the Family Pantry was preparing 800 turkeys to distribute ahead of Thanksgiving. She also noted the pantry’s Toy Day — which was canceled last year due to COVID-19 — will return this year and be held Dec. 19. Parents are now able to register their children for Toy Day, which sees children receive a collection of donated toys from the pantry.
To contribute to The Cape Cod Chronicle’s Helping Neighbors campaign, mail or drop off a tax-deductible check to The Family Pantry, 133 Queen Anne Rd., Harwich, MA 02645.
Please write “Helping Neighbors” in the memo line. Donations can also be made online at thefamilypantry.com. A list of donors will be published each week in The Chronicle.
Menard said the pantry relies on support from the community to ensure it can continue to operate and help people throughout the region.
“You can’t do this without the community,” she said. “You can’t run this place without the volunteers and you can’t run this place without the financial support of everyone that gives to us. Most of our donations are $25 and $50 — a little bit at a time from a lot of people. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything, so we appreciate it a lot.”
Email Brad Joyal at email@example.com. Twitter: @BradJoyal