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Mayor Walsh helps Charlestown parish distribute Thanksgiving meals

By Mark Labbe
Posted: 11/27/2015

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Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh helps give out Thanksgiving Day meals at the Harvest on Vine Food Pantry of St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Charlestown Nov. 20. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe

Charlestown -- Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined dozens of volunteers in distributing Thanksgiving Day meals for about 700 needy families Nov. 20 at the Harvest on Vine Food Pantry of St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Charlestown.

The mayor stayed at the daylong event for nearly an hour, talking with visitors and volunteers, and helping pass out bags of vegetables to those waiting to receive holiday meals with shopping bags, strollers, and carts.

Those who visited the pantry were given, "the turkey and everything that goes with it," according to John Dillon, a volunteer who has been helping at Christmas and Thanksgiving events at the pantry "forever."

The holiday meal package included all the food needed for a Thanksgiving Day dinner, including a turkey, a pie, and vegetables.

The Harvest on Vine Food Pantry, located in the former St. Catherine's Annex building on Vine Street, has been in existence for around 14 years, said Father James J. Ronan, the pastor of St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish.

Father Ronan added that the pantry has a full-time staff member, as well as numerous volunteers, and works year-round distributing food on the second Saturday of every month and on the last Tuesday of every month.

"We are continually a service to the people here," he said.

One woman receiving a holiday meal at the pantry told The Pilot that her visit simply "means I'm gonna eat" on Thanksgiving.