Thursday, September 7, 2017
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined Teresa Spaziani-Liberti, Executive Director of The Gray House, and Board Member Steve Holstrom, at Hot Table in downtown Springfield yesterday to kick off the third annual “Fill the Plate, Feed a Family Challenge,” fundraising initiative which runs from Friday, Sept. 1 through Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017.
The Organization has set a goal of raising $20,000 for the month of September and is asking the community to help them reach this goal. All proceeds will directly support their food pantry operations, which serve an average of 80-120 households each week.
This year, the initiative has expanded to include additional events. The efforts will kick-off at Hot Table, Tower Square in Springfield on Wednesday, Sept. 6 where 20% of proceeds from breakfast, lunch and dinner sales will benefit The Gray House. Patrons must present the cashier with a fundraising flyer, which can be found at GrayHouse.org. Mayor Sarno will be present at noon to make his annual donation in support of The Gray House Food Pantry.
Mayor Sarno said, “’Fill the Plate’ to continue to nourish great development programs at the Gray House – it will be your ‘comfort food’ donation!”
Throughout the month, participants are asked to:
1. Make a donation through razoo.com/ftp
2. Post a photo of yourself with an empty plate and a link to the donation page on social media
3. Tag @The Gray House, Inc. and any friends you want to encourage to donate!
In addition to raising funds, the goal of the fundraiser is to raise awareness of the prevalence of food insecurity in our community. “The empty plate represents all of those neighbors who would go hungry without groceries from our food pantry. In the past several months, we’ve seen a huge increase in need for food in our community and we’re dedicated to meeting that need but need the community’s support to do so. We encourage donors to post photos on social media and share with their networks so that we can reach an even greater number of people,” says Teresa Spaziani-Liberti, Executive Director. “Monetary donations to our Food Pantry go a long way in feeding our neighbors. As a member of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, we can significantly leverage donations to obtain food. For example, a donation of $3 gets us 90 lbs. of meat.”
In 2017, The Gray House Food Pantry has made much progress in meeting the needs of their neighbors. This includes increasing the number of times households can receive food within a year, increasing the variety of healthy foods including meat and produce, building new partnerships with local grocery stores and farmers and hiring a Pantry Director, Benjamin Holt, to manage the operations and plan for future growth.