For the past 15 years or so, inmates from the Barnstable County Correctional Facility have been helping with virtually every monthly food delivery trucked from the Greater Boston Food Bank to the 1st Baptist Church pantry, seen here taking place last week in downtown Hyannis. So what happened was nothing new.
“But it remains very much appreciated,” says pantry director Cheryl Harju, who says the actual deliveries started even longer ago – about four decades back. “We couldn’t do it without the inmates,” Harju noted, as about 6,000 pounds of food were hustled into the church storage area, bucket-brigade style. Last month it was even more, about 8,000 pounds.
“We do have our faithful volunteers,” says Harju, “but the older they get the harder this job is for them.” The director cited one hot day last summer when an elderly gentleman found himself in a bad way before huffing and puffing his way through to a safe outcome.