This year's Annual Breakfast was an inspiring morning celebrating the collective impact of the community joining together to create food security. 2018 has seen ONT continuing to grow and serve more people than every before. Guests have walked through our market doors - at our central market and at our mobile markets - 20,450 times in 2018. More than 1,000 people - children, seniors, adults with disabilities, working adults and parents - who have not received help before are finding the help they need.
The theme of the morning was "Food Security Starts With You." None of ONT's impact would be possible with the volunteers, donors, and community partners that work together daily to ensure that none of our neighbors have to go hungry. In this spirit, ONT honored our 2018 Community Champions for their contributions. Sue Ranshaw and Betty Elliott were honored as individual champions for their over a decade of service to the organization and their role in starting and maintaining a mobile market in Merrimac. The Amesbury Council on Aging was honored as the organization champion for being a critical partner in creating a Food Secure Amesbury and ensuring that none of our Amesbury seniors have to worry about getting their next meal.
But perhaps the highlight of the morning was a conversation with 3 community members as to what ONT and food security means to them. Dr. Gail Fayre, Chief Medical Officer at Anna Jacques Hospital, Bob Murciak, an ONT volunteeer, and Kellyn Nahas, owner of the Barking Dog Ale House Group and ONT board member, each shared their powerful personal stories in a discussion monitored by emcee Dana Marshall of 92.5 the River.
In a true connection of the theme, the over 200 event attendees rose to the challenge giving $25 or more to provide someone with 1 meal a day for a month. Over $26,000 was raised by the breakfast, enough to provide 40 people with 3 meals a day for an entire year! Check out the Newburyport News article covering the breakfast.
Thank you to all our sponsors who made the breakfast possible!