WINCHESTER - August 2021 marked the 1-year anniversary of the En Ka Pantry, which operates in the same location residents know as the En Ka Exchange, at 1037 Main St. En Ka Pantry helps an average of 100 town residents each month, distributing everything from typical non-perishable foods such as soup and rice to laundry detergent, shampoo, and other personal care items. In August and September, the pantry also helps with back-to-school supplies, socks, and other necessities.
Around the holidays, En Ka Pantry likes to do something a bit special for the clients they serve, by providing all the fixings for a holiday meal.
“We are extremely grateful to have strong support from the Winchester community as we aim to brighten the season for our neighbors in need,” said En Ka Society president Kate Carpini.
The pantry depends on donations, and the Winchester community has proven to be enormously generous. A sustaining grant from Cummings Foundation helped jump-start the program and continues to provide crucial financial support. A partnership with Wright-Locke Farm has allowed for the recent offering of seasonal organic produce at the pantry.
The farm is also offering holiday cookie baking classes for pantry families in December. Community groups such as the Winchester Cultural District have coordinated food drives at their events. As part of their 150th Anniversary Celebration activities, Winchester Savings Bank staff filled and
decorated fun “back-to-school” snack bags for pantry families in addition to their generous
financial donation to En Ka.
Carpini pointed out “The pantry is still quite new, and we invite residents, organizations, and businesses to share their ideas and help us to solidify the pantry’s presence in Winchester.”
Also of critical importance to the pantry are the donations received from individuals, and the inventory supplied through food drives. Local schools, student organizations, and sports teams have contributed significantly. For example, a “Friday Night Lights Food Drive” was recently held during a Winchester High School football game. Student pie sales by the Ambrose Elementary fifth grade class and the WHS Student Council will result in Thanksgiving pies for all pantry clients.
Carpini added, “We welcome your participation in this community effort and look forward to working together this holiday season and during the year ahead.”
If you would like to help, consider shopping for a few extra items and dropping them into the big blue donation bin on the porch at 1037 Main St.
Individuals in need may schedule a visit at email@example.com or 781-369-5844.
We accept all non-perishable food within date. Listed are some suggested foods but any
donation is appreciated!
Canned Meat (stew, Spam, chili, etc.)
Cereal (hot and cold)
Dessert Mixes, Jell-O, Pudding
Pasta & Sauce
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Personal Care Products/Paper Products
Shelf Stable Milk (non-powdered)
Soup (Condensed & Ready to Serve)
Snacks (cookies, crackers, etc.)
Sugar-free, Low-sodium & Fat-free Foods