Coronavirus changes holiday food drive

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises on Cape Ann, The Open Door has adapted its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to mitigate the spread of the virus. Julie LaFontaine/Courtesy photo

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises on Cape Ann, The Open Door has adapted its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

“We have learned to expect surprises and embrace reality,” Executive Director Julie LaFontaine wrote in an email to the Times. 

The Saturday, Nov. 21, The Open Door, We Are All in this Together, and Gloucester Police Department’s Community Impact Unit will host a drive-through food collection at Gloucester High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the same time, The Open Door will have unstaffed collection bins at Market Basket at Gloucester Crossing, Shaw’s in Ipswich and in Gloucester on Eastern Avenue, Stop & Shop in Gloucester, and Crosby’s Marketplace in Manchester.

Each child who shows up to the drive-through food collection with a bag of food will be entered into the Community Impact Unit's Kops-N-Kids giveaway where they have the chance to win a prize.

Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro would not reveal what those prizes might be, but confirmed they will be revealed next week.

Foods most needed for the drive are peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, healthy snack items, canned tuna, chicken, and turkey, soup and stews, canned vegetables, macaroni and cheese, canned fruits, breakfast cereal, rice, noodles, and pasta, cake, muffin, and pancake mix, juices and juice boxes.

“As a community, we are strong and we are resilient,” LaFontaine said. “These past nine months have proven that yet again.” 

“We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving,” she added.

Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or tbradford@gloucestertimes.com.

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