LOWELL — More than 3,000 packages — ranging from Ramen noodles, cans of minestrone and cream of mushroom soup, boxes of penne, jars of peanut butter and nearly every other nonperishable food item imaginable — were stacked and packed into boxes and bins in the mayor’s reception room yesterday morning. The bounty weighed in at 2,500 pounds before it was hauled away by staff from the Merrimack Valley Food Bank.
The impressive bounty was the result of a two-week competition within City Hall organized by Treasurer Liz Craveiro, who challenged City Hall employees, broken into five teams, to bring as much food to the table as they could to help the food bank, which supplies 3 million pounds of food annually to 80 shelters, pantries and meals programs in 25 area communities.
“I have no words,” Craveiro said, marveling at the mountains of food. “This is amazing.”
The food bank’s cupboards are bare.
“We could never have imagined the City Hall challenge would have brought in this much stuff,” Executive Director Amy Pessia said. “There are cases of food stacked here. To have the support of the mayor and the city manager and the other employees at City Hall to help our fellow Lowellians in need of food is a testament to the dedication the employees … have to the city.”
City Manager Bernie Lynch said the challenge was a great team-building exercise for the employees.
“It was a great friendly competition for a great cause,” he said. “The food bank does a tremendous amount of good work for people who really need help and we are proud to be a part of that.”
Mayor Patrick Murphy said there may be more charity challenges in the future for City Hall employees.
“A little healthy competition is a good thing,” he said. “And this was great. It showed how dedicated the employees are to making the city a better place.”
Credit: Ms. Jennifer Myers, the Sun
The Merrimack Valley Food Bank accepts food and money year-round to provide families in the region with the basic nourishment that we all need.