Many people, when they think of Our Neighbors’ Table, think immediately of the Wednesday Meal. Others think of our Amesbury Food Pantry. For hungry families in Merrimac, Our Neighbors’ Table means the Merrimac Mobile Food Pantry! For six years, the Merrimac Mobile Food Pantry, operated by a small group of dedicated volunteers, has provided groceries (including milk, eggs, meat and fresh produce) to residents of the town of Merrimac. 181 households have registered since the beginning of the program, and an average of 50-60 households are served at each pantry.
Volunteers gather on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month at the Merrimac Senior Center at approximately 9:00 am and begin to set up tables. Once the ONT truck arrives full of groceries, they unload the truck and set up all the food, usually with the help of guests who have come early to lend a hand. In a 2-hour span, volunteers will set-up, check-in, distribute, carry, deliver, reload the truck and clean-up! According to volunteer Sue Ranshaw, who coordinates the Merrimac Mobile Pantry, what makes these volunteers remarkable isn’t just their efficiency, it’s that they work together so well as a group. She describes them as one big family – where they get to know the guests by name – and they have a wonderful time with lots of laughs, hugs and genuine affection! The volunteers are exceptionally hardworking and dependable, Sue says, but more importantly, they are extremely kind and respectful to anyone who comes for food, exemplifying ONT’s mission to provide guests with nourishing food, kindness, dignity and community.
Volunteers include Sue Ranshaw, Nancy Bachelder, Diana and Bob Domings, Marilyn Dutton, Betty Elliott, Colleen and Nick Fiorello, Gail and John Korpusik, Ingrid and Gene Robinson, Dave Olson, Clint Furnald, and Jim Christofferson. The youngest volunteer, Jason Attili, has been coming since last fall and is one of the hardest workers, doing anything and everything that needs doing without being asked! We would like to take this opportunity to thank these wonderful volunteers for all that they do for Our Neighbors’ Table and for their community!