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Weekly Suppers Ending - Letter from our Chairperson
Dear Acton Food Pantry Supporters,
Twenty-seven years ago, Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry, Inc. (Community Supper, Inc. at that time) was founded by a handful of volunteers in response to the need of many in our area for a nutritious meal served in a social atmosphere. In those early years, attendance grew at the Supper until there were sometimes over 100 guests served each week. During that time, Community Supper set up a small Pantry operation to alleviate the burden that many were facing in keeping food on their table at home. The Pantry served about 30 families, each of whom received one bag of groceries weekly.
Since that time, and especially over the last 4-5 years, our Pantry has grown to accommodate new needs caused by increased food insecurity in our community. Last year our Pantry distributed enough food to make 375,000 meals, an enormous volume of food to acquire, store, and distribute. Though our original mission to provide food for those who need it remains the same, the method of providing it has shifted significantly. Our Pantry client registration has grown to over 500 households while our Supper operation continues to see a decline in guest attendance.
After a yearlong analysis of the Supper operation and many attempts to improve guest attendance, we have come to a conclusion that is both happy and sad. The good news is that there is little local need for our community Supper and that need can be sufficiently serviced by larger Supper operations in nearby towns. The sad part is that Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry has determined that we will suspend our Supper operation as of June 29, 2011.
Our Pantry has become a major center for food distribution to the needy in our area. We need to direct our efforts and limited resources to sustaining this operation for those hundreds of households that count on us. The Pantry is a more efficient, effective use of these resources and provides more meal choices to our varied demographics. That conclusion is reflected in both the increase in Pantry clients and the decrease in Supper guests.
The Board of Directors wishes to express its deepest gratitude to the many Supper volunteers who have dedicated their time to making our Wednesday evening meal a special event for our guests. We hope that they will consider finding a role in our newly reorganized Pantry operation. Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry has always been proud of our Volunteer Crews and count on them to allow our mission to continue. We need their help now more than ever; they remain our most valuable asset.
Kathy Casaletto Chairperson, Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry, Inc