Ensuring no neighbor goes hungry

With the help of the James O’Connell Insurance Agency reaching their goal of 500 votes + shares, Billerica Community Pantry received a $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance to further their mission of providing food security to the people of Billerica. Congrats to the team and thank you for supporting them!

Living a life you can thrive in starts with food security. Yet there are still countless people in our own communities who struggle to meet this basic need. That struggle may be invisible to many, but Billerica Community Pantry in Massachusetts refuses to accept it.

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James O'Connell get the Billerica Community Pantry’s shelves fully stocked, ready to be distributed to Billerica neighbors.

The Community Pantry serves the people of Billerica who are in need, regardless of demographics. This nonprofit typically supports around 175 families a month, but since the pandemic began, that number has ballooned to 450. The James O’Connell Insurance Agency stepped in over two and a half years ago to assist the organization in their efforts and intends to step up their impact.

“Some fights can only be fought in person, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Billerica in this way.”

-James O’Connell, Principal, James O’Connell Insurance Agency

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“Without her I would not be able to help out at the food pantry!” Being a small agency, O’Connell credits agency Office Manager, Leslie, as the force that keeps the office running while he volunteers.

When your neighbors are in need, it’s personal

James and Cathy O’Connell take their role in the Billerica community seriously and have channeled their commitment into the Community Pantry. Since they started volunteering in late 2018, the O’Connells have spent up to eight hours a month helping stock shelves and preparing the Pantry to distribute food and personal items.

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The O'Connells helped set up food at one the Billerica Food Pantry's distribution events. The couple has been volunteering about eight hours a month since 2018.

Finding opportunity in the hardest of times

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James O’Connell and Cathy O’Connell bagging up frozen goods and dairy products for distribution.

The James O’Connell Insurance Agency’s passion for this cause has been steadfast, even through the outbreak of COVID-19. Putting their own health on the line, the two continued to volunteer and even began to commit their own funds to the Community Pantry.

To James O’Connell, there was no question of how to approach continuing to support his neighbors amid the pandemic. “Some fights can only be fought in person, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Billerica in this way,” said O’Connell. “While the future is unknown, we do know that when people join together to do good deeds, challenges can be overcome.”

Now, with the opportunity to secure a larger donation through the Make More Happen Awards, they have considered the deeper service the Community Pantry can offer. “Additional funding would unlock the door to more nutritious food items, hygiene products and cleaning supplies,” said Sandra Giroux, a board member of the Billerica Community Pantry. “These items are often taken for granted by many but are key to creating a sense of well-being in those facing food insecurity.”

“Additional funding would unlock the door to more nutritious food items, hygiene products and cleaning supplies. These items are often taken for granted by many but are key to creating a sense of well-being in those facing food insecurity.”

-Sandra Giroux, Board Member, Billerica Community Pantry

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The empty Community Pantry shelves after January 2021 distribution. Each month, the organization serves hundreds of families.

In a community of 45,000 people, Billerica Community Pantry has been taking on a huge responsibility relative to most nonprofits of its size. $10,000 could feed 600 four-person families for two months. This means that your vote could quite literally help this amazing organization feed over five percent of the entire Billerica community. All it takes it a comment or a share!

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DAWN COLLINS
6 months ago

Thank you for caring

Janice Parris
8 months ago

Great job!

LILLIAN FLORES
1 year ago

This is an amazing team of people caring for their neighbors – so much care and compassion. Keep up the good work and count on my support!

JOHN R. PETERSON Peterson
1 year ago

This couple are Humanitarian Role Models. The Covid epidemic has motivated the best of help from exceptional individuals such as these.

Sandy donovan
1 year ago

Thank-you all so VERY much!!!

Debra Cobb
1 year ago

Thanks for your hard work.

fatema esmail
1 year ago

thank you

Evelyn Ross
1 year ago

One day as I delivered the food to a family the mother said: “make sure they know we eat all to the last crumb.” That make us feel good about what we do.

LAURETH CURRAN
1 year ago

You all are so good there at the Billerica Food Pantry. Thanks for all you do~

Patrice Ficociello
1 year ago

A worthy cause…thanks to all who make it happen!

Jim
1 year ago

Thanks for all your help

Melissa Nazzaro
1 year ago

AMAZING!!! ♥️ This!!!

Karen
1 year ago

We did it!!!

Karen
1 year ago

Almost there!

A M
1 year ago

thank you for all your work for the food pantry!

MELISSA
1 year ago

Great Job!!

Jenna McIlwrath
1 year ago

This is awesome

Kaylie Efstratiou
1 year ago

Thank you!

Melissa
1 year ago

Thank you for all you do!

Karen
1 year ago

Thank you!!

Jillian Carbone
1 year ago

Thank you for what you’re doing for our community!

Kristen Kallenberg
1 year ago

Thanks so much for caring for our town!

Lisa
1 year ago

Great community support! Thank you!

Maura Moran
1 year ago

Just saw you on WCVB news. Great work!!

Raelene Wolfgang
1 year ago

Thank you for what you do for the community you are wonderful people!!

Katie Burke
1 year ago

Just saw this on the news- amazing work!

Donna Naples
1 year ago

Thank you for the wonderful work you do!

Casey Smith
1 year ago

Awesome work, Jim!

Christine Kopec
1 year ago

With summer break just around the corner, this initiative could not come at a better time to help
families in the community.
I think we tend to only focus at holiday time for needs of local families when it should be year round!
Great thing you are doing Mr O!

Annette Presseau
1 year ago

Thank you – great job!

SARAH NAHRMANN
1 year ago

Thanks for helping the community.

Jeanne Landers
1 year ago

Great story and great work – Thankyou

Jodi
1 year ago

Great job ! Thank you for your generosity

Mary A. Sciuto
1 year ago

Let’s all do what we can to help those in need. The pantry is definitely a good cause.

April Harmon
1 year ago

This is awesome! Thank you for your kindness and hard work at helping those in need!

Kenneth Laskey
1 year ago

The Billerica community is amazing

Grace Calisto
1 year ago

Amazing work!

Christine Kopec
1 year ago

Almost there ladies and gents! Lets help Jim get to the finish line!!!

Joe
1 year ago

Always happy to drop some food items into the bin at Market Basket.

Ed Stepper
1 year ago

Caring people providing wonderful work and service.

Heather Colantuoni
1 year ago

Keep up the good work!

Heather Hatcher
1 year ago

Keep feeding families!

Darlene Torre
1 year ago

Thank you so much

Kellie
1 year ago

You are a true inspiration in these very challenging times. Thank you.

Patricia A. Melanson
1 year ago

Thank you to the volunteers that help the Billerica Community Pantry!

Ruthie Elliott
1 year ago

I am Thankful for the Billerica Community Pantry and it’s many volunteers!!

Lori Guglielmi
1 year ago

Love to see community supporting those in need. Amazing effort!

Irena Maguire
1 year ago

Thank you for volunteering!

Rebecca Chaffee
1 year ago

Awesome!

Robert G Rains
1 year ago

I believe that the Billerica Community Pantry is doing an outstanding job of meeting the needs of people in the Town of Billerica who don’t have enough food.

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