How to help

JASON GROW/Courtesy photo/The shopping pantry may be closed for the time being due to coronvirus precautions, but The Open Door is still supplying meals to those who need on Cape Ann. The agency is seeking donations at to help it in its mission.

The message to the public is give more, give now.

The resources of local nonprofit agencies are being greatly taxed as they try to respond to the growing crisis surrounding the coronavirus — whether that's providing food for low-income children and their families who will be home from school for the next few weeks or helping out people who have lost their jobs in a growing wave of layoffs in certain sectors.

"All nonprofits, no matter the cause, will be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Most have canceled fundraising events and activities; all will incur significantly increased expenses to serve the rising need," says Beth Francis, president and CEO of the Essex County Community Foundation. "If you usually give at the end of the year, or wait for a particular event, consider giving now instead. And if you have the ability, consider giving more than usual."

Action Inc. 

Action Inc. said food and hospitality businesses and restaurant closures on Cape Ann have made financial health critical for their workers. Many of these workers will will turn to Action Inc. for assistance paying bills and purchasing supplies and can be supported by supporting Action Inc. by visiting

Beverly Bootstraps

At this time, the best way to help Beverly Bootstraps, which serves Beverly and Manchester,  is to make a donation or join the Circle of Hope by becoming a monthly donor. Bootstraps, due to the growing health concerns, has canceled its Boots and Bloom Gala fundraiser and is working out details for a virtual gala with an online auction. Check The pantry is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, March 18. 

Lifebridge Northshore

Executive Director Jason Etheridge says there are a few ways to help Lifebridge, which operates the Grace Center in Gloucester, as well as locations in Salem and Beverly. You can make cash donations, via, inform local restaurants and caterers that Lifebridge will accept frozen or prepared items that can be dropped off at 56 Margin St. in Salem, and give in-kind donations of food, clothing, personal care items and toiletries.

The Open Door

The Open Door, which operates pantries in Gloucester and Ipswich, says it pushing an online drive for monetary giving, as opposed to food donations. Donations may be made online at or by mailing a check, made payable to The Open Door, to The Open Door, 28 Emerson Ave., Gloucester, MA 01930

Those wishing to volunteer to pack bags or deliver meals may email

SeniorCare/Meals on Wheels

SeniorCare Inc. runs the Meals on Wheels program, delivering healthy meals to homebound seniors on Cape Ann and the North Shore, is accepting donations at Volunteer drivers are needed;interested persons may call 978-281-1750 or email to learn more.

United Way

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has also started a COVID-19 Family Support Fund. For more details, go to

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