Tag Archives: Open Door

Madame Mayor Visits The Open Door

Hi Joey,
The Open Door was lucky enough to be one of eight nonprofit organizations receiving a grant from the BJ’s Charitable Foundation this quarter in the form of a $7,500 grant.
Madame Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken recently visited the food pantry where she helped Kevin Brisson, our food pantry shift leader, stock the vegetable cooler with fresh produce before the last big storm. I sent along a few pictures to show how we are putting this resource to work for the community!
“BJ’s Charitable Foundation is proud to provide assistance to eight local nonprofit organizations that are committed to improving the lives of those in each of their communities,” said Jessica Newman, executive director for the BJ’s Charitable Foundation, in a statement. “These donations will assist thousands of individuals and families in the areas of hunger prevention, education, healthcare and self-sufficiency.”

A quote from me? “This is wicked awesome! Thank you, BJ’s for investing in our community.”

A reminder to readers and anyone out there who needs help, we are here to help. Don’t be shy!


Julie LaFontaine
Executive Director
The Open Door


Today’s Globe North Best Bets column features 4 events and the first 2 listed are in Gloucester.  Here’s what they say:


Gloucester: Gloucester Stage Company closes its current season with August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Fences.” The play tells the story of a former Negro baseball leagues star working as a garbage man in Pittsburgh in 1957. Thursday through Sept. 7. $35, $40. Gorton Theatre, 267 East Main St. 978-281-4433, www.gloucesterstage.com .


Gloucester: The Celebrate Gloucester Benefit Concert Series presents blues artist James Montgomery, joined by Danielle Miraglia, Marissa Licata, Sax Attax Horns, and Willie Loco Alexander. Friday, 8 p.m. $25-$55. A portion of proceeds will go to The Open Door food pantry. Waterfront Pavilion, Cape Ann Marina, 75 Essex Ave. www.gimmelive.tv

Looks like the editors of the Boston Globe know where to go for top entertainment north of Boston.

Aren’t you glad you live here?

Painting Bowls at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Support of The Open Door

Painting Bowls at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Support of The Open Door

Addison Gilbert Hospital hosted a bowl painting on February 26th in support of The Open Door Empty Bowl Dinner.

Hospital employees, their family and friends painted over 40 bowls for the Open Door Empty Bowl Dinner to take place on

Thursday, May 8, Cruiseport Gloucester from 4-8 p.m.  Everyone had fun for a great cause.


The Open Door 3-Minute Shopping Spree Winner!

Hi Joey,

Kathi Murphy ran The Open Door 3-Minute Shopping Spree this morning at Market Basket filling her cart with more than $1500 worth of groceries to help feed her big family for the next year! Congratulations to Kathi for a good run!

The Shopping Spree Raffle is offered each year as a fundraiser for The Open Door! Watch next August for your chance to enter and WIN!

Happy holidays and Onward!


O’Maley Innovation Middle School Food Drive for Open Door Food Pantry

Food Drive for Open Door Food Pantry

O’Maley Innovation Middle School students participated in an all-school food drive for the Open Door Food Pantry for two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. Over 1400 pounds of items were gathered to help families in need. The O’Maley SAILS program (Service, Integrity, Acceptance, Leadership, Success) emphasizes Service in our community and this year’s annual food drive was a wonderful opportunity for students to put the school community’s values into practice. It was a great success!

2013 Food Drive - 22013 Food Drive - 32013 Food Drive - 42013 Food Drive

Second Glance, the biggest thrift shop in Gloucester

My first review in my series on second-hand stores in Gloucester is “Second Glance” (2 Pond Rd., Gloucester), the thrift shop of Open Door, a local hunger-relief charity.


It has a wide selection of items, including clothes, kitchen utensils, books, CD’s, toys (in small quantities, from what I’ve seen), dishes, knickknacks, furniture, etc.  It is well organized, clean, and affordably priced.

The place is often busy, so there is a fairly quick turnover of popular items. It’s worth checking back often – and if you see something you want, get it while you can!

They have ample hours, Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., both for purchasing and for donating.  Proceeds go to support the Open Door hunger relief efforts.  So whether you are looking for a useful item for your home or your wardrobe, or you have items in good condition that you want to pass on to another owner, this is a good place to go!

But just because it’s awesome, doesn’t mean it has everything all the time. The other locations I will be reviewing are well worth checking out too!

Matthew Green

Sat, May 4th: You want to see the guy who turned down offers from major labels to do his music his own way!

And he’s got a heart.  Check this out from the Old Sloop website:
Garnet Rogers and Old Sloop Coffeehouse encourage attendees to bring non-perishable food items to this concert to be donated toThe Cape Ann Open Door Food Pantry. Donors will receive a free drink as a thank-you.

Sounds like my kinda guy!  Get tickets here.


Good Egg Report From Martin Del Vecchio

Martin writes-

Gloucester residents Calvin Del Vecchio (9) and Treely Dowd (8) decided that they didn’t need any presents at their joint Ninja birthday party.  Instead, they asked each guest to bring a small donation for The Open Door.

They raised a total of $87, which they presented to Julie LaFontaine, Executive Director of The Open Door.  She said, "Donations like this touch the heart and inspire us all to give what we can to help make a difference in our community."

Ninja Donation to Open Door-017

Chickity Check It- Be Grateful Project – Open Door and the Cape Ann Food Pantry From Jen Amero


Jen Amero writes-

Continuing the Be Grateful Project through the holiday season with a nod to Gloucester’s own Open Door/Cape Ann Food Pantry. Under the energized direction of Julie Hazen LaFontaine, the Open Door offers a free grocery store and community meals for the needy, the elderly and the lonely at their Emerson Ave location as well as neighborhood, senior care and school-based mobile farmers’ markets and a second hand clothing and furniture shop at it’s "Second Glace" resale boutique on Pond Road.


For the rest of her blog post about The Open Door Pantry click here

1 Free Personal Training Session and 2 Hours Gymazing Child Care With One Grocery Bag of Non-Perishable Items At The MAC

Donate one grocery bag of non-perishable items to Manchester Athletic Club and receive-
(1) Personal Training Session &
(2) hours of child care in our Gymazing! Center.
All non-perishables will be donated to The Open Door Food Pantry!
Donations accepted November 1st – 19th


Open Door Autumn Breakfast Thursday October 25th


Breakfast is FREE. Donations accepted.

Thursday, October 25 Cruiseport Gloucester

6 Rowe Square

7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

RSVP by Monday, October 22

978-283-6776 ext. 205
Register to reserve a seat

Founders’ Award

Leslie Pearlman

Helen Muise

Community Service Award

Bruce Gordon

Sharon Muddiman

Unsung Hero

Val Gilman and Jared Gilman

Lisa Reis

Outstanding Community Builder

Joey Ciaramitaro
Good Morning Gloucester

Community Stuff Monday



Broadcast Interview with Local Author

Charles L. Fields

Charles will discuss his latest riveting travel mystery-adventure

Tainted Dish along with his other titles.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:30 am ET

Streamed live via the Internet and available 24/7 by podcast at


Listen for the GMG shout out from Charlie.

Cape Ann TimeBank paints some bowls for the Empty Bowl

Some great folks from the Cape Ann TimeBank came down to Art Haven yesterday to paint some beautiful bowls for Open Door’s Empty Bowl fundraiser coming up on May 10th!

Julie LaFontaine from the Open Door

Did you know the Open Door feeds over 14% of Gloucester’s people?  They need donations!

Click on the picture above to play the video and find out how you can help.

Open Door Empty Bowl Painting Tonight!

Hi Joey,

The snowdrifts are piled high, but spring is on the way! The Open Door Empty Bowl Dinner is right around the corner, and we need help decorating bowls for our annual May event.

The Open Door is hosting a free bowl decorating evening with North Shore 104.9 on Tuesday, February 15, at 28 Emerson Avenue in Gloucester, from 6 to 8 p.m. for anyone interested in trying their hand at painting a bowl design. The event is fun and children are welcome, but we need to know how many are coming. Reservations can be made by calling 978-283-6776 ext. 205 or e-mailing us at info@foodpantry.org.

We think it would be wicked cool if GMG came to document the event, and maybe decorated a bowl. What do you think? Attached file has the important info. We would really appreciate it if you could let GMG readers know they can participate.

Julie LaFontaine ,Executive Director
The Open Door


Open Door Holiday Baskets To Help Feed The Needy


Help The Open Door this Thanksgiving

You can donate a Holiday Basket for just $25
Each basket contains all the fixings to prepare a family feast this holiday season.

You can donate a Holiday Basket in honor of or in memory of someone you love.

Make check payable to The Open Door, 28 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930 or visit www.foodpantry.org.

What to do with your Thanksgiving Leftovers

The holidays are upon us and who has money to throw away?  Not me!  So here are a few ideas how to save money by recycling some of your leftover holiday foods into fun meals for your family. This episode was conceived  after speaking with Julie LaFontaine the Executive Director of the Open Door Food Pantry (pictured above, with Lily).  We were talking about what I could do to help spread the message of the Open Door and we came up with this show.

I went to the grocery store and bought the items that will be included in the Thanksgiving meals that are being donated to the Open Door.  I went home, cooked a traditional turkey dinner including turkey, potatoes, squash, carrots, stuffing, gravy, onions and cranberry sauce.  Also in the basket is a 5 pound bag of apples so I had all of that to work with.   And this is what I came up with.

These are the recipes for Inspired Cooking that is airing on Cape Ann TV tonight at 8:30 and again Friday at 4:30 and Sunday morning at 11:30.

Because you will be using your leftovers (and I don’t know how much you have) and I used mine, the quantities are not exact.  Taste what you are putting together, add dash of something here and a little more of something there and you will come up with a fun cost effective meal for your family.

Use these recipes as guidelines to making something terrific!

Squash Custard Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust.
5-6 cups leftover squash and carrots–whatever you do not have, make up the difference with a can of pumpkin puree–if veggies are a little chunky, that’s ok as long you are ok with texture in your pie.
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon melted butter
½-¾ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fit crust into deep dish pie plate and crimp edges.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream butter, sugar and extract.  Stir in vegetables and season with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pour filling in to pie crust and bake pie for 45-55 minutes until filling is set and the blade of a knife, inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

Allow to cool before slicing.

Oatmeal topped Apple Crisp–serve with ice cream if you have it!

¼ cup flour
¾ cup brown sugar, divided
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch salt
5-7 cups peeled apples (whatever you have), peeled, cored and sliced
4 tablespoon melted butter, divided
2 cups old fashioned oats (if you have quick oats, use them!)

Spray an 8” x 8” dish with nonstick spray or coat with butter.  Set aside.

Whisk together flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and salt and toss mixture with apples.  Pour apples in to prepared pan.

Whisk together oats, melted butter, remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples.  Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes until oatmeal is crisp and apples are soft.  Enjoy

Turkey Dinner in a Stuffing Muffin

Cooked Turkey, cut into small cubes
Leftover gravy
Leftover stuffing
Leftover cranberry sauce
Leftover mashed potatoes

Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Mix turkey and stuffing in a small bowl.  Press  stuffing into bottom and up sides of cups  to make a crust.  Spoon 2 tablespoons  of the turkey and gravy mixture into the stuffing crust.  Place a small slice or tablespoon of cranberry sauce on top of the turkey  mixture.

Place about ¼ cup mashed potatoes in the palm of your hand and form into a patty.  Place the patty on top of the filled stuffing cup.

Repeat using up the remaining leftovers.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until edges are lightly browned.  Remove pan from oven and  allow cups to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  Remove from pans and serve with additional gravy if desired.

Pulled Turkey Sliders with CranApple Slaw and Crispy Oven Fries

For the sandwiches you will need:

Leftover or fresh small rolls
Turkey, pulled into small pieces
Barbecue sauce

Mix turkey with bbq sauce.  Heat either slowly on the stovetop or covered in the oven at 350 degrees until hot.  Toast the rolls and slather with additional barbeque sauce if desired.  Place warm turkey on the bun and top with the slaw

For the slaw:

Leftover cranberry sauce
1 bag cole slaw mix
Apple chunks
Celery seeds, poppy seeds or other spices, if desired
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix equal amounts cranberry sauce and mayonnaise.  Add seasonings if desired and pour over apple chunks and slaw mix in a large bowl. Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.

For the oven fries:
Uncooked potatoes, cut into steak fry size
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, toss cup potatoes with a few tablespoons olive oil to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Also great with a little garlic powder sprinkled on.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until crisp on one side. Flip fries over and cook for an additional 10 minutes until cooked through.  Enjoy!

And last but not least, Lily in her fabulous hat and chef’s coat.  Let me tell you, this kid can cook!  She came in 4th in an apple pie contest at Brooksby Farm on Sunday–there was no youth category–she competed against the adults!  I am so proud of her!