Students Lend a Helping Hand at the Jonnycake Center

Marissa Berardo, Staff Reporter

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If you are looking for community service opportunities, look no further than The Jonnycake Center of Westerly this holiday season. Numerous volunteers, including WHS students, participated in the distribution of Thanksgiving baskets at the Jonnycake Center on November 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..

According to the Center’s pantry manager, Sarah Teixeira, there were more requests for baskets this year than last year. She said that 316 baskets were distributed to families.

Approximately 20 to 25 volunteers helped out this year, including WHS Senior Megan Roy, Junior Matt Coskran, and Sophomore Cassie Mitchell.

Roy, who has been volunteering at the Jonnycake Center for the past seven years, said, “Each year, especially around the holiday season, I love volunteering to help the families in need. Each family should receive the best Thanksgiving possible, and that is the goal of this basket distribution…anything is better than nothing.”

Supermarkets, restaurants, community members, and the Rhode Island food bank all donated food. The baskets included turkey, canned vegetables, stuffing mix, potatoes, cranberry sauce, among many other items.

Jonnycake program director Susan Rosen said that families needed to be registered clients of the Center in order to receive a basket, so they had to qualify based on financial need and residency.

The annual Thanksgiving basket distribution is one of the most popular volunteer activities at The Jonnycake Center of Westerly, as is the Christmas toy and food distribution event.

Please contact volunteer coordinators Steve Symonds or Grace Cipriano at, (401)-377-8069 if you are interested in helping out. New volunteers are always welcome!

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