GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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April 27, 2013

Talk of the Times: Open Door seeks Facebook votes for grant

Talk of the Times

Julie LaFontaine and her colleagues at The Open Door food pantry and community service agency are reaching out to local Facebook.com users to try to help The Open Door win a $20,000 prize being offered by Wal-Mart.

The grant the agency us seeking is through Wal-Mart’s “Fighting Hunger Together” initiative, a national campaign that awards grant money to innovative and effect programs that help alleviate child hunger. And The Open Door fits that bill, in the midst of a growing need in Gloucester and across Cape Ann.

The Open Door is competing against more than 300 other hunger relief organizations across the nation, but the more votes The Open Door gets through the Facebook voting campaign — at www.facebook.com/walmart — the better their chance is to win the $20,000 prize or other, smaller grants.

If The Open Door is a winner, the funds will then be used to support PowerSnack, an after-school supper program offered at Veterans Memorial Elementary, said LaFontaine, Open Door’s executive director. PowerSnack offers kids a chance to fuel up before they head home for the day, with the supper program including a kid-friendly entree coupled with fresh fruits and vegetables selected by the child from a student-sized salad bar.

“The Open Door PowerSnack supper program helps connect kids to good food,” LaFontaine said. “To win a $20,000 grant for this program would make a difference for our community.”

The public will be able to vote through their Facebook account through 11:59 p.m. on April 30, at www.facebook.com/walmart. Voters should enter zip code 01930 to bring up The Open Door voting page, then simply click on the orange “vote” button.

For more information, please contact www.foodpantry.org.

GEF hosts major ed forum

The Gloucester Public Scools and the nonprofit Gloucester Education Foundation, a driving force behind several city school programs, including the wind turbine project at O’Maley Innovation Middle School and outreach programs through Maritime Gloucester and MIT, will be hosting a major educational forum set for Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Cruiseport Gloucester.

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