The South Shore YMCA, the Town of Hanover, private donors and small business owners stood together in solidarity for Hanover residents on Thursday, delivering 212 meals to two senior housing complexes and the Bethany Apartments on Washington Street.
Empowered by donors Jack and Kathie McDonough, the Y coordinated the meals delivery program with Mark and Julie Ellis, co-owners of The Chef’s Table in Marshfield, the Hanover Council on Aging, and representatives from Peabody Properties and Corcoran Management. A week before the delivery, the team added 74 meals to the Council on Aging’s “Brown Bag” monthly grocery delivery service, also prepared by The Chef’s Table.
“During this time when people are sheltered in place, something like this is a real treat, something a little different,” said Paul Gorman, President and CEO of the South Shore Y. “We just hope this brings a little more happiness to the folks here in Hanover.”
“It’s been a tough year for everyone, but we’ve also seen the best in people,” said Hanover Town Manager Joe Colangelo. “Hanover has done a nice job of sticking together. You see simple acts of kindness all the time, at stores, people smiling, waving, being a little more patient with each other, and some nicer big acts like this with donations of food and good will. This just exemplifies what Hanover is all about.”
Mary Means, Property Manager at Barstow Village, the first stop on the caravan route for the day, said times have been particularly tough for the local senior citizens. “The residents, the seniors here, I always tell them how lucky they are to live in Hanover, because the Council on Aging, the YMCA, all of the programming that is here and available for our seniors, is just unbelievable,” she said. “It’s been a challenging time for our seniors through this whole COVID pandemic, and they’ve been doing really, really well, but they’re feeling isolated and fatigued from the social distancing. Their families and friends are really trying to keep them safe as well as we are, so this will really put some smiles on their faces today.”
Sheila Buonagurio, Resident Services Director at Hanover Legion, echoed those thoughts. “We normally would have a luncheon every month, but unfortunately, due to COVID, we haven’t been able to do that since March, and they’ve really missed having a meal and getting together. So this was just a special treat, having a lunch delivered to them. They’re really happy about it and appreciative, and so are we.”
At Bethany Apartments, Nancy Chapman, Resident Services Director, shared the same sentiment for the families living there. “These are very difficult times we’re in right now. We have a lot of families here and people have been impacted differently. Some have lost their jobs. Some people who live here have food insecurity. So the fact that they’re getting a freshly-made, delivered meal means a lot.”
For Mark Ellis, who welcomed the opportunity to prepare and deliver the food, the meals delivery program has meant a shot in the arm to his small business when it’s needed most. “It’s been a great win-win for all of us, because it’s keeping my ovens warm back at the shop, keeping me and my staff busy, which has been very nice. It’s enabling us to keep things going and work through this tough situation.”
“I want to thank the South Shore Y,” said State Representative David DeCoste, who met with staff and helped deliver meals. “You guys have been doing really great work, with the critical child care, working with Father Bill’s and so forth regionally, and then specifically here. This is a big deal, for the residents of Legion housing and at Barstow Village, and I just came here to say thanks to the whole South Shore Y team for everything they’ve been doing.”
To donate to the South Shore YMCA during this crisis, and help perpetate projects like this one, contact Mary Orne, email@example.com, 781-264-9453, or visit https://ssymca.org/stay-with-us to support the mission through a tax-deductible donation.
About the South Shore YMCA
The South Shore YMCA is a leading charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community. Since 1892, the Y has served communities across the South Shore of Massachusetts and beyond, engaging over 60,000 adults, children, families and seniors each day through membership, critical social services, and programs that support a healthy spirit, mind and body. The Y empowers everyone by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from all backgrounds, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections throughout our community. To learn more about the South Shore YMCA and our causes, visit ssymca.org. The Better You Belongs Here.