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May 2022 Update

Since March 2020, our community has stepped up in ways we didn’t imagine possible to meet the increased demand for food assistance. We could not have done this without you. We are grateful for your hard work, determination, and passion to ensure our community thrives.

We have had a busy month at Aunt Dot’s and would like to share the following updates: 

In-Person Shopping: Starting in August we will begin in-person shopping again. We will allow only 2 clients at a time into Aunt Dot’s Place to conduct shopping. Clients will shop with a Customer Service Representative. Both the client and Customer Service Representative must wear a mask at all times. 

While 2 clients are shopping, another client will be “on deck” waiting to shop. While they are waiting, we will have a Customer Service Representative conduct an annual review of the client’s paperwork. 

We look forward to having our clients back inside as it allows for them to pick the items they want, and for us to build relationships with them. We ask for patience during this time of transition, for some of our clients, this may be the first time they have ever come inside the building. And for some of our volunteers, it may be the first time they have shopped with a client. 

Mask Update: Masks must continue to be worn during open shop hours (Tuesday 6pm-7:30pm, Thursday 9am-11am, and Saturday 10am-12pm). If you are at Aunt Dot’s Place for other purposes other than open shop hours, masks are optional as we are not confined to the smaller areas and move more freely throughout the facility while stocking/sorting/labeling. 

More Youth Volunteer Opportunities: Additional Youth Volunteer opportunities will be added to the monthly Essex Alliance donation (First Sunday of the month, 11:30am-1:00pm). Keep an eye out for the July sign-up, we love seeing the youth of our community serving! 

Grant Funding Received: Aunt Dot’s Place has received an $8,777 grant from the Town of Essex Human Services fund to provide halal and seafood options for clients with dietary/religious requirements, funds also include the opportunity to purchase fresh produce and bags specifically for clients residing at Susan’s Place. 

New Opportunities: 

  • We are looking to expand our “Greeter” and “Shift  Leader” positions during open hours. If you’re interested in learning more about these positions, please let us know. 
  • There is currently a vacant seat on the Board of Directors in a “Member” position. The Board of Directors meets once a month (1st Wednesday, 7pm-8:30pm). If you are interested in serving please email us for more information on the position. 

Board of Directors Update: A board elected by you, the volunteers, governs Aunt Dot’s Place. Please see below the current slate of Directors and Officers. We would like to thank past and current Board Members for their selfless leadership, passion, and dedication. 

Carissa Gump President
Brandy Gratten Vice President
Jennifer Lovell Treasurer
Anna Cadmus Assistant Treasurer
Amy Boudreaux Secretary
Betsy Wilder Member
Max Seaton Member
Sue Miyamoto Member
(TBD) Member

Thank you to the following organizations who hosted a food drive or donated meals!

  • Essex Alliance Church: 1,079 lbs
  • Essex Middle School: 1,527 lbs         
  • Mark B.B.Q.: 279 lbs           
  • Memorial Day Parade/Matt Lumsden Real Estate: 2,192 lbs         
  • Poorhouse Pies: 33 lbs          
  • Price Chopper Donation Bin: 366 lbs          
  • Tuberville: 160 lbs          
  • USPS Annual Food Drive: 1,146 lbs         
  • Unknown/Anonymous Donations: 584 lbs
    •  Donations Total: 7,366 lbs

With generous financial support, we were able to purchase a total of $6,670 of food totaling 4,848 pounds.

Additionally, we would like to thank the following local stores for their continued donations: Bimbo Bread, Costco, Hannaford, Pepperidge Farm, Trader Joe’s, and West Meadow Bakery.

A special thank you this month goes out to State Farm Agent, Kaitlyn Raymond who received a $10,000 grant from State Farm. She has generously donated it to support the mission of Aunt Dot’s Place! 

Thank you dear friends and supporters of Aunt Dot’s Place for caring. We truly appreciate you!

With Gratitude,

Carissa A. Gump, OLY, MPA
Aunt Dot’s Place, Board President