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Donor Support Fills Crucial Need This Winter

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Thanks to YOUR support to the Cape and Islands United Way, individuals and families are provided with food and healthy eating education from The Family Pantry of Cape Cod.

It started in the back of one man’s trunk. Today, the Family Pantry of Cape Cod serves 10,000 people and distributes almost 100,000 bags of groceries a year. Serving this many our of their warehouse at 133 Queen Anne Road in Harwich takes many hands and much coordination. And a lot of resources.

That’s where your generous donation from the Cape and Islands United Way is put to use. Your contribution not only helps us collaborate with the Family Pantry to supply food, but to provide education. As part of the United Way’s ongoing support is a grant to provide an onsite dietician to assist people in making healthier food choices.

The Family Pantry has 650 volunteers that do an array of jobs, from registering families, filling out grocery forms, packing the bags, sorting items, planting the 1-acre garden and harvesting the 6000 pounds of vegetables that are grown every year.

“When Covid happened, the staff put their heads together and they created a safe system, complete with constructing new

windows, doors and an entry/exit system, where people could distance and be safe to receive their food,” explained Christine Menard, Executive Director of the Pantry. In other words, where a need is found, the Pantry finds a way to fill it.

Families may come once every 14 days, or occasionally, whatever fits their situation. There are no qualifications or documents for families to access the Pantry and all are welcome.

The working poor of Cape Cod are a large segment of the year-round population and as Ms. Menard says, “We support them, and they support our community.”

Most of these families are working one, two or even three jobs to make ends meet and are extremely grateful for this support. Gertrude, a 6-year volunteer, tells us that they receive thank you cards and letters often.

Thank you, Cape and Islands United Way supporters, for being a part of the mission to put food on the tables of 10,000 families.

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