City-wide food drive for Our Neighbors' Table underway

State Rep. Jim Kelcourse, left, Our Neighbors’ Table executive director Lyndsey Haight and Greg Jardis, who was presented with state citations for his donations to the organization.

Our Neighbors’ Table’s annual community-wide food drive has begun with drop-offs at local bank branches. For the third year in a row, 10 area banks and credit unions have positioned collection boxes in their lobbies to collect non-perishable food items and personal care products to support the food pantry throughout March.

Collection boxes will be available at all local Institution for Savings, Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank and Provident Bank locations as well as RTN Federal Credit Union and Align Credit Union in Amesbury, St. Jean’s Credit Union and Eastern Bank in Newburyport and Merrimac’s Haverhill Bank, Louise E. Mills Federal Credit Union and Merrimac Savings Bank.

Our Neighbors’ Table is in need of personal care products, especially full-sized shampoo and deodorant. Canned soup with meat, canned chicken, canned meals, baked beans and canned fruit (no applesauce and peaches) would also be greatly appreciated. Online donations can be made as well.

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DPW director Rob Desmarais is asking residents and business owners to store recreational items, trash cans, basketball hoops and other items out of the way of his department’s cleanup operations and not to put barrels and recycling carts in the street.

Barrels and carts can be placed on the edge of the sidewalk or in a dug-out spot in the snow. Desmarais also asks that residents, especially those in the downtown area, remove their barrels and carts as soon as possible so pedestrians can use the sidewalks safely. They are also asked to use black plastic bags for trash, as white bags are not easily seen in the snow. G. Mello will not be sent back to collect trash or recycling that is not visible from the street.

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The Provident Bank will be hosting private lessons in online banking with Anne Gagne at the Council on Aging March 11 and 25 from 1-3 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a few bills and Gagne will take it from there. Those who are interested can book an appointment either at the COA’s front desk or call 978-388-8138.

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State Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, and state Rep. Jim Kelcourse, R-Amesbury, recently presented Amesbury Industrial Supply owner Greg Jardis with citations from the House and Senate in recognition of his donation of more than $750,000 in real estate and funding to build a new facility on Main Street for Our Neighbors’ Table.

“It was an overwhelming experience to share with my daughter, some of my dear friends and co-workers, the board members, staff and clients at Our Neighbors’ Table and other members of our communities. I was really humbled,” Jardis said. “It is joyous to be able to share and give back to an incredible organization. I would encourage everyone to chip in and be a part of this wonderful organization in any way you can.”

Jardis also received citations from ONT executive director Lyndsey Haight and Amesbury’s First Lady Donna Gray at an impromptu event that took place at the nonprofit food pantry’s current home at the Main Street Congregational Church campus last Wednesday afternoon.

Jardis sold two Pattens’ Hollow plaza units to ONT for $1 last month, giving the nonprofit money for the build-out as well.

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The following meetings are scheduled and are open to the public:

Monday

School Committee Budget Hearing, Amesbury High School, 6 p.m.

Planning Board, City Hall, 7 p.m.

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Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145.

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