Greenpark Mortgage, a division of Berkshire Bank, donated $680 through the Berkshire Bank Foundation enabling Lazarus House to purchase 20 food boxes, said mortgage branch manager Jim Kochakian.
”We know that people are hurting and we’re wanted to give back to the community,” Kochakian said.
He came up with the idea for the food donation and hopes to make it an annual project.
”We were happy to help out, especially around Thanksgiving,” Kochakian said. “Even if there’s a good economy, there are still people hurting.”
Linda Zimmerman, executive director of Neighbors in Need, will distribute between 500 to 600 turkey meals and another 400 chicken meals.
”It’s always exciting, terrifying and amazing of how it all works at the end. I sit back and in awe of what it’s happening because it is that miraculous,” Zimmerman said.
After the Thanksgiving meals are delivered, local pantries start stocking up again for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“It’s very hard, once the turkey are distributed, it’s a tough battle to do it again at Christmas,” Zimmerman said. “It’s like the best of times and the worst of times.”
Last Wednesday, Julia Polanco, executive director of Food for the World on Essex Street, gave out 1,500 Thanksgiving dinners including 1,060 turkeys. When the turkeys ran out, they distributed chicken.
”The need is really great, to have people stand in line for so long,” Polanco said.
Food donations needed
Canned vegetables, canned soup, dry soup, pasta, tuna fish, chicken, fruit, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, cereal, Jelly, Jam, Sugar, Ketchup, paper towels, mayonnaise, crackers (preferably Saltines), mustard, canned chicken, spam, hash, chicken and beef broth, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Area food pantries and meal centers
Bread and Roses, 58 Newbury St., Lawrence, offers dinner Mondays Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Cor Unum Meal Center, 191 Salem St., serves breakfast from 6 to 8 a.m., and dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week.
Food for the World, 474 Essex St., Lawrence, supplemental groceries are distributed on Wednesday.
Lazarus House, 242 Hampshire St., Lawrence, supplemental groceries are distributed on Wednesday.
Neighbors in Need, groceries are distributed each week at 11 food pantries.