Welcome to Captain Lester S. Wass Post 3 of the American Legion located at 8 Washington Street, Gloucester, MA. This site was created so our members, families and friends can easily access important information about our Post .
The Schooner Lannon this weekend for Memorial Day. Anyone wanting to reserve a spot just needs to call Vee Chipperini at the Gloucester Veterans Services office.
Gloucester Daily Times
Putting the ‘giving’ in Thanksgiving: Groups serve those in need
By Caroline Enos | Staff Writer; Nov 25, 2022
It was a Thanksgiving Day of good food and friendly faces for Albert Lovering and other guests at Haven from Hunger in Peabody.
“The wonderful workers here are so kind and genuine,” said Lovering, who lives in Salem. “It’s such a break in this post COVID, hostile world to come to a place where everyone’s so nice.”
He was one of 65 guests waited on by more than a dozen volunteers at Haven from Hunger, a division of the non-profit Citizens Inn. They were served turkey, stuffing, pie and all the other dishes that are staples of Thanksgiving.
In Gloucester, the Capt. Lester Wass American Legion Post 3 cooked and delivered more than 600 meals to senior citizens, veterans and others in need around Cape Ann, and Ipswich and Hamilton.
With more than 60 drivers and 60 volunteers in the kitchen, this effort has been a Thanksgiving tradition for decades, said Post Commander Mark Nestor.
“We come from Gloucester, and Gloucester has always supported the veterans, so we wanted to give back,” Nestor said. “It’s a great effort from the community.”
Besides serving meals, Haven from Hunger delivered more than 125 meals and many more were picked up by visitors. In all, over 350 people received a hearty holiday meal from the pantry’s bustling kitchen on Wallis Street, said Brianne Jurs, program director at Citizens Inn.
“This is our Super Bowl,” Jurs said in between directing volunteers at the pantry Thursday. “We prepare all week for this meal, which is exciting and it’s great to see everybody, but there’s always mixed feelings.
“You feel really grateful that you’re not in the position to need a meal and that you’re able to help, but you’re also really grateful that places like this exist,” she said.
With rising inflation costs hitting locals hard, Jurs expected the pantry’s dining room to be full this Thanksgiving. And it was.
A good amount of Thursday’s guests are regulars at the pantry’s free dinners that are hosted four nights a week, but Jurs did see some new faces, she said. The pantry also gave out over 1,000 turkeys to local families ahead of Thanksgiving this year.
“Turkey prices were so expensive with the bird flu, and just the price of everything has gone up for folks,” Jurs said. “We’re just making sure that people get fed.”
For Lovering, the holiday meal was a chance for more than just a good meal.
“This is like a home for me,” he said. “I was born and raised in Brookline. I’ve been up in Salem for five years, but everyone I know has passed away. This has become like a family of sorts.”
Volunteers also made Thanksgiving meals at Lifebridge North Shore, a shelter in Salem. They served up more than 125 meals that were delivered to shelter residents and other community members in need, said Lifebridge’s kitchen manager Karen Andrew.
“We make sure that we can help them in any way we can,” Andrew said. “We just try to make Thanksgiving very special, but we do feed everybody seven days a week.”
Making Thanksgiving special was the goal for Peabody resident Cindy Castro and her three children as they served meals at Citizens Inn on Thursday.
It was the family’s first time volunteering for the event.
“It makes me happy being able to be a smiling face for someone else,” said Julie Roman, Castro’s 19-year-old daughter who was visiting home from college in Nashville. “I know in the world we’re living today, it’s not something that’s very common.”
Julie, her 13-year-old sister Natalie Roman and their 8-year-old brother Gabe Castro brought meals to guests.
“I like that we can help feed people who are in need,” Gabe said.