Two months after flooding damaged their headquarters basement of Town Hall, Lenore’s Pantry announced it would not distribute additional Thanksgiving meals this year.
Health Department Director Anne-Marie Fleming said the flooding from the September storms left their site with little space to take in food. In years past, the pantry accepted food baskets and gift cards to be delivered to clients. Fleming said the pantry is still seeking gift cards this year.
“Because of the lack of access downstairs, we have been assisting with other community partners,” Fleming said. “We don’t want anything to go to waste.”
Despite their headquarters being unavailable, Lenore’s Pantry has assisted other groups, such as the YMCA food pantry and Our Open Umbrella, in providing clients with Thanksgiving food bags. In addition, Fleming said the pantry continues to help individuals apply for food stamps, deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to residents and provide additional resources for those seeking food assistance. Fleming said work on repairing the basement has begun and expects Lenore’s Pantry to re-open in January of next year.
“The impression is that we are still assisting with Thanksgiving, just not to the degree in years past,” Fleming said. “The only real difference is that people can leave the gift cards this year but they can’t leave the food baskets. We have about 200 to 300 clients on our books.”
Some entities, including the Waters Church, have offered to donate Thanksgiving meals for those in need. Local businesses are also providing help for the upcoming holiday season. Nelio Pereria Vaz, the co-owner of The Meat Bar, said his company is raising money to make 100 dinners serving five to six people per household for the Christmas season.
“We have raffles in store and all proceeds are going towards the meals,” Vaz said. “We have a few small companies that stepped up to help and we will be announcing them very soon.”