McGuiggan’s 5K tops $15K to Whitman Food Pantry
WHITMAN — For nine years, the McGuiggan’s Pub Road Race has provided more to its community than bragging rights for runners followed by a block party to kick off the summer months.
It has also contributed proceeds to community organizations — the Whitman Food Pantry, in particular, which has received a total of $15,000 in race proceeds over the years.
On Thursday, Aug. 2, Richard Rosen and his daughter, Danielle, presented the latest check to the pantry, for $3,000.
“Since the first year of the road race, we have donated a lot of the proceeds from our race to the Whitman Food Pantry, because I think it’s really important to give back to your community,” Rosen said. “This year’s check represents over $15,000.”
Bruce Perry, Whitman St. Vincent de Paul president and Whitman Food Pantry director, said the gift is especially timely as the pantry has served about 80 families — a total of a little over 300 people — in the past month.
“This is usually our slower time [regarding people coming to the food pantry], but it hasn’t slowed down this summer at all,” he said.
The summer is also a time when donations drop off due to vacation schedules and other demands of donors’ time and resources, Perry noted. Donations don’t pick up in earnest until mid-November, when the holidays spur donations, he noted.
“The spirit of giving usually helps out,” Perry said. “We receive probably about half of our donations in the last three months of the year.”
This latest McGuiggan’s donation will buy the pantry about 10,000 pounds of food out of the Greater Boston Food Bank, possibly helping the pantry supplement other donations to meet the demand for another month and a half or so.
“Richie and his staff at McGuiggan’s have been doing this for years and it helps us at the food pantry and whenever we do have excess we call neighboring pantries, so nothing ever goes to waste,” Perry said.
St. Vincent de Paul Brockton South District President Robert Hogan noted that the Whitman Business Community has been and continues to be strong supporters of the Whitman Food Pantry especially McGuiggan’s, Duval’s Pharmacy, John Russell Studio, Regal Marketplace, Stop & Shop, Pea Pod, Mutual Bank and Dunkin Donuts.
“We are very grateful for their support and helping us to assure that our friends and neighbors of Whitman always have food on their table,” Hogan said.
Rosen noted there was a time when donations were held “close to the vest,” but said the community has a right to expect transparency concerning where race proceeds go.
“When we’re out generating funds, people want to know … and people do need to know,” he said.
While about half the funds over the years have gone to support the food pantry, several area veterans’ programs — such as Folds of Honor in support of the college education of children of deceased veterans; the Whitman American Legion; Whitman VFW Men’s Auxiliary; Disabled and Homeless Veterans — have also benefitted from the race.
Cub Scouts, the HUG Foundation, Whitman Police and Auxiliary Police, Whitman Fire Department, scholarship groups and the Whitman Library have also received donations.
“We raise money and we give it all away,” Rosen said. “But the majority has gone to the Whitman Food Pantry.”
The food pantry will also be holding a pasta dinner from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Cardinal Spellman Center at Holy Ghost Church. The cost is just $5 and raffle tickets for gift cards, various items, and services will be available.