Table Talk, November 2021
The holidays are upon us once again. For many, this will be a reunion of loved ones who could not gather last year. It’s a time to give thanks and treasure the little things that we can often take for granted. Smiles, laughter, and hugs are back! Every year, ONT offers all of the food to go along with these celebrations – from turkeys to pies, turnips to gravy. More than 1,000 holiday celebrations will be “catered” with food from ONT’s markets or lasagnas prepared by our Wednesday Meal chefs.
Your support of and participation in ONT’s mission is so much more than making sure your neighbor doesn’t go hungry over the holidays. ONT’s vision is for everyone in our community to be food secure all year long – that means everyone can know for certain that they will have 3 healthy meals a day, every day, always. And, together, we are making that happen.
We learned earlier this year, that the average family saves $300/month when they shop at ONT for groceries. Imagine what that $300 can mean to a family at Christmas time! Imagine what it means to a dad who can keep the heat on through the winter so his kids can sleep peacefully. Imagine what it means for a mom who has to pay for gas to get to work every day.
Today, I send my sincerest thanks to all of our community members who show up every day. To all who are packing groceries, stocking the freezer, driving our trucks, chopping onions, making phone calls or home deliveries, sending in a donation, sharing our tweets, and spreading the word – thank you! To all of you who see that, together, we are not just defending against hunger today, but building the hope and security for tomorrow – thank you and peace be with you.
ONT's Annual Breakfast Returns to Blue Ocean!
It was a rainy, blustery morning on October 26, but we were warmed by the spirit of community at ONT’s Annual Breakfast. It was wonderful to gather safely in-person with new and old friends while still broadcasting to our audience at home. Dana Marshall emceed our morning and led a conversation with Pam Kealey of Newburyport Public Schools and Tress Ricker, ONT's Food Resource Advocate, about what they are hearing from our guests and neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity first-hand. We are thankful for the chance to bring everyone together to remind ourselves of the importance of addressing food insecurity as both a social and economic condition that affects every aspect of our community. It was an honor to celebrate our 2021 Community Champions - congratulations to the Town of Salisbury (pictured above), Bill Ginivan and Clarissa Taylor. Special thanks to our sponsors and all who joined us to raise funds to provide nearly 80,000 meals to our neighbors! Read more about the Annual Breakfast ››
Food Drive Fun!
Volunteer Spotlights - Bill Ginivan & Clarissa Taylor
News & Events
Thanksgiving Recipe from ONT's Heather Paterson
Volunteer Spotlight - Bill Ginivan
ONT Community Champion Award winner Bill Ginivan has always been involved in community service. “It’s in my DNA,” he says, “My parents did it, so it’s always been part of my life.
Bill cooked for other community meals growing up in Malden and later living in Evertett. When the Ginivans moved to Amesbury, they immediately started searching for volunteer opportunities. They settled on ONT after learning of its mission and reputation in the community (Bill's wife Pam is an active volunteer with ONT's Market and guest services team). Bill has been a loyal ONT volunteer for 6 years at the Wednesday Meal, stepping up in the kitchen when our previous crews were ready to retire. He took pride in watching the guests enjoy the meal he had helped prepare.
When the meal turned to takeout during the pandemic, Bill said that the Wednesday Meal team had to “get creative with the menu” so all the guests were able to bring a delicious meal home. Throughout the pandemic, Bill has really brought his heart and soul to the Wednesday Meal. He’s been there working hand-in-hand with our staff, he provides encouragement to volunteers filling new roles. He has even donned the Big Red Suit to make sure our littlest guests still experienced the magic of Christmas.
Bill retired from a civil engineering firm where he had worked for 40 years. He loved his position as a senior designer for the company. For the past 40 years, Bill has been making lovely stained glass window hangings in his free time.
We are so grateful for Bill’s dedication to ONT’S mission and we are happy to name him as one of our Community Champions!
Volunteer Spotlight - Clarissa Taylor
Clarissa Taylor, one of ONT’s 2021 Community Champions, speaks about her introduction to ONT with amusement and fondness. “My friend Murray tricked me,” she starts with a smile, “Murray asked me if I wanted to be part of the Volunteer Appreciation Committee for one meeting and one event.” It turned into significantly more than one meeting and one event, but after 9 years of volunteering, she wouldn’t change it for the world.
Clarissa has volunteered in almost every program area of ONT. Before the pandemic, she prepped in the kitchen for the Wednesday Meal and was a fixture at the Market on Saturdays greeeting guests. Her greeting of “It’s so nice to see you today!” was something every guest looked forward to and, when she went away on vacation, they noticed.
Clarissa is currently using her friendly approach to take guest orders over the phone as an Office volunteer. She loves to take the time to chat with guests before taking their orders. Clarissa recalls her most memorable moment at ONT, “A guest was so glad that I called because I am usually the only phone call she gets each week.”
Clarissa also donates her fabulous penmenship skills to ONT and chances are you’ve might have received a birthday or holiday card signed by her hand! Clarissa has lived in Amesbury for 36 years after growing up in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She was a speech therapist at Amesbury Public Schools before retiring. She loves to walk, read, travel, and watch her 5 grandchildren in her free time.