Oak Bluffs: Food distribution

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— Shelby Regan

My cell phone weather app tells me it is raining now on this Monday, but I have yet to see it. If the cat refuses to venture outside then I will know the rain has started. I think the weathermen and the technology are about even in accurate predictions. I am sure I am not the only one who when informed that snow is predicted shortly, can go outside and “sniff” the air to tell if it feels like snow, and the true test is if it “smells” like snow. Works every time.

During these isolating times, I and many others, are fortunate enough to have a small group of friends who call each other every day to make sure all is well. I also find myself writing brief notes to friends and my cousins off-Island with just a cheery greeting of hello. It seems as if we are keeping in touch more frequently than ever before. I thought at first it was just an “old age” thing, but now the younger generations seem to be doing the same. Please do, as it brightens our spirits and also gives hope that there will be healthy times ahead. In the meantime, keep wearing masks — now double masks are recommended — and social distance. Stay well and safe.

We are so very sorry to let you know that Eric deBettenourt left us way too soon on Feb. 15. After fighting a courageous battle against a rare type of cancer for the past few years, Eric died on his birthday at age 54. Always upbeat and humorous, he left joy and love wherever he went and with whomever he met. Eric leaves behind his children Emily and Ben, their mother Hope, sister Melanie Marchand and brother Michael, with whom he shared the same birthday for 54 years, his mother Sandra, and numerous nieces and nephews who loved him dearly, as did everyone who met him.

Church news from Good Shepherd Parish tells us that for those who do not feel comfortable coming into the church, you can drive your car over to St. Augustine’s and listen live to the Mass on your car radio on 87.9FM. A Eucharistic Minister will be sent out to your car with communion. Please put your flashers on at communion time so they can easily find you. Since April 2019, in collaboration with the Greater Boston Food Bank, Good Shepherd Parish offers food distributions of frozen proteins, along with fresh fruits and vegetables here at the Parish Center in Oak Bluffs at the back entrance off School Street for anyone experiencing food insecurity. Due to precautions for the coronavirus, all folks receiving food are asked to remain in their vehicles and prepared boxes will be placed by the staff/volunteers in your car.

The school vacation concludes tomorrow with students returning to their scheduled remote or onsite classes. March 10 is a staff development day so school will be dismissed at noon.

After 40 years located at the Methodist Church, perhaps better known as the

Stone Church in Vineyard Haven, the Food Pantry is officially relocated to the Portuguese American Club on Vineyard Avenue in Oak Bluffs. The new location provides double the amount of area to store fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and healthy foods. There is now also ample parking space and the club provides easy access. The hours are Monday from 2 to 4 pm, Wednesdays from 1 to 6 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm.

We send birthday smiles to Khloe Alwardt on March 1, Heather Devine on the 2nd, Reggie Kuszewski and Kathie Case on the 3rd, and Alison Ferreira, Amy Billings, and Christine Buckley on March 4.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Megan Alley, meganislandmegan@comcast.net.