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Monthly meeting hears details

of mission of the Open Door

At our monthly meeting on March 9, members heard from Julie Hazen Lafontaine, director of the Open Door Food Pantry in Gloucester.

Julie Hazen Lafontaine addresses March meeting of the GDCC

Ms. Lafontaine described the mission of the Open Door. She noted that the program now serves ten cities and towns and its programs have expanded to include the Ipswich Community Food Pantry, widening the service area to include Hamilton, Boxford, Rowley, Topsfield and Wenham.  The agency’s  clients are mostly eligible for federal programs but more and more people fall between the gaps where they make too much to qualify for direct assistance but are not and their incomes are not sufficient to put food on the table.

She described the Open Door’s services including two food pantries (Gloucester and Ipswich), Community Meals, Mobile Markets, SNAP (food stamps) Application Assistance, Summer Meals, Farm to School, Senior Soup and Salad, Family Supper Night, Garden Project, Nutrition Education, Thrift Store (Second Glance) and Holiday Baskets.

She said the Open Door served a population of over 6,000 people in 2016 including 1 in 6 Gloucester residents.  The Open Door provided 1,398,837 pounds of food for 1,165,968 meals  Between 2016 and 2017, the agency had a 26 percent increase in requests for food assistance.

She also described the agency’s newest initiative, a Diaper Bank.  The agency purchases diapers wholesale.  Low-income families spend between 6 and 14 percent of their income every month on diapers, she noted.

Ms. Lafontaine also thanked the members of the committee for their efforts with the food drive on our Martin Luther King Day of Service.

Change of venue for state convention

We have received the following communication from the chair of the state Democratic Party, Gus Bickford:

The 2017 Massachusetts Democratic Platform Convention will be held at the DCU Center in Worcester on June 3, 2017. Originally scheduled for Lowell, the Platform Convention had to be moved to the Worcester location because of some time constraints at the Lowell facility that did not allow us to use the facility for the full day.

Again, this year’s Platform Convention will be held in Worcester on June 3. The gavel will come down at 10 a.m. Same date, same time, different location.

We are excited about this year’s convention in Worcester and look forward to returning to Lowell in January of 2018 for our Democratic Campaign Institute. 

Democratic Dialogue


The Gloucester Democratic City Committee’s public access television program, Democratic Dialogue, will air on Cape Ann TV, Ch. 12, throughout March on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., Fridays at 4 p.m., and Sundays at 7 p.m., Host Liz Murray will chat with Christine Tron, Commander of the Beverly V.F.W. post, and a Democratic State Committee member, about her 30-year military career and current public service activities.

Videos of recent shows can be viewed at http://capeanntv.org/video/

For more information, call 978-283-2511.

Looking forward

Please put the following dates on your calendar for opportunities to get involved:

  • Thursday, April 13, Monthly meeting.
  • Sunday, April 30, GDCC Annual Brunch
  • Saturday, June 3 – Democratic State Convention in Worcester

 Monthly Newsletter

   To download a copy of our most recent newsletter in PDF format click below.
March newsletter

Paying your dues online

You can now pay your annual dues online. Click on the link below before you forget: