Like everyone else I know, I react to the holiday season with a fair amount of reflection and anticipation, reviewing what the past year has given, and envisioning how the next year may unfold. And, I see lots to be happy about in both directions.
Let’s start with taking a quick look at what we’ve accomplished with Thrive this fall. Since the start of October, the Early Childhood campus has distributed 31 food backpacks each Friday to children in need. That’s a total of 372 food backpacks, or 744 breakfasts, 744 lunches, and 744 snacks! (Not that I’m counting…) This year the backpacks are healthier, including fresh fruit (apples, oranges) and vegetables (carrots, celery) to accompany the shelf-safe items. Tomorrow, our last distribution of 2015, due to a donation from our friends at Amigos, we will send home 31 bags of citrus fruit with an attached Market Basket gift card. Hopefully this will make the holidays less hungry and more happy for all. This fall we were also able to expand our Food for Free fruit deliveries to include a weekly case of fresh fruit for the Upper Elementary, ensuring easy access to healthy snacks in the Franklin Street building.
Looking forward, efforts are well underway to start distributing weekend backpacks out of the Upper Elementary campus in January. And on January 21 we will host our first “Third Thursday” community supper at the Early Childhood campus. Thanks to Community Cooks, Third Thursdays will happen monthly through the spring, will be open to any and all members of the PHA community. And we’ve just received word that in March we can apply for another round of grant funding from MIT’s Community Service Fund. (Yay!) Later in the spring we will host our second annual Thrive fundraiser, encouraging friends, family and community members to come together for an afternoon of good food, drink, and celebration around a good cause.
This is all to say, life is good, and Thrive is thriving as we head into 2016! Many thanks and best wishes to you all.