Harvest On Vine Food Pantry and Charlestown community deliver Thanksgiving joy

By Chris Prew

Thanks to the generous support and efforts of the Charlestown community and a small army of businesses and civic organizations, the Harvest on Vine Food Pantry enabled 375 families to enjoy a happy Thanksgiving last week.

That’s because through the Seventh Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Drive, Harvest on Vine and the community provided all the fixings for a complete, old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner — a turkey, 5 lbs. of potatoes, brown-and-serve rolls, green beans, carrots, apple cider, stuffing, jarred onions, cranberry sauce and apple pie.

The Thanksgiving dinner distribution took place on Tuesday, Nov. 23, at St. Catherine’s Parish hall, with the support of the Boston Police Department and efforts of Sgt. Thomas Lema.  With the difficult economy, the number of families provided dinners this year increased significantly from the 275 that were served in last year’s drive.

According to Harvest on Vine’s Thomas MacDonald, the Thanksgiving Dinner Drive was strongly supported by the Charlestown Mothers Association (CMA), Johnnies Foodmaster, Mayor Thomas Menino, the Boston Police Department, Zume’s, Olivia Browning, Project Bread, The Greater Boston Food Bank, Casey and Hayes Movers, Navy Yard Bistro, Sawyer Funeral Home, Carr Funeral Home, Joy of Old, and Bunker Hill Florist.

“Families and organizations with means shared their bounty with families who are struggling,” noted Tom MacDonald.  “Cheryl Bliss Waxman and the CMA promoted the event and got the word out to help with fund raising.  We had a group of volunteers at the distribution that numbered at least 50 people — not including their children.  When we ran out of food on Tuesday, Kevin Perno of Johnnie’s Foodmaster even arranged to have 30 more Thanksgiving dinners available the next day.  It was all about neighbors serving neighbors and it shows what Charlestown is all about.”

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