, Newburyport, MA

May 28, 2013

Pennies add up; we're grateful for that

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Our Neighbors’ Table is a living example of Mead’s message, distributing millions of meals to individuals and families in need throughout the region. And all of it has been made possible because of the many individuals who contribute small and large donations of food, funding and time. Whether we are counting cans of soup or pennies in a jar, it all adds up to an amazing impact.

In a time when one out of every 12 households in Amesbury alone (nearly 10 percent of the city’s population) has turned to the ONT pantry, those individual gestures are more valuable than ever. Last year, our partners at Pennies for Poverty expanded their efforts to become more active in Amesbury. They put out collection buckets at 10 different locations, including Vermette’s Market, Greenery Designs, Cumberland Farms on Elm Street, Toy Soldier, Fiddlestix, Carriagetown Wine & Spirits, Friend Street Book Store, C. Meadows Boutique and Carriagetown Candle with a goal to give the money collected to Amesbury-based food pantries. Combined with a great fundraiser at Flatbread in March, all those little pennies are adding up to a big difference.

I am humbled every day by the stories of our guests. I am also inspired every day by the endless compassion and generosity that I see from our neighbors, from young children to our elders, men and women, those with little and those with a lot. And a special thank-you to our friends at Pennies for Poverty and to all of our local businesses who continue to show so much support for our neighbors in need.

Lyndsey Haight

Executive director, Our Neighbors’ Table