El Amanecer - The Sunrise
The Official Newsletter of the
Spanish American Center, Inc.
Remembering and Thanking ALL our Heroes
Memorial Day, 2020
News and Notes from Neddy

Dear friends,

As Memorial Day arrived we remain under mandatory restrictions here in Leominster. My family and I are doing well, as are all Spanish American Center staff and volunteers. We initiated safe work protocols several weeks ago which have kept us healthy. They also challenged us to become more flexible and creative with our ongoing response to client needs.

I communicate with staff several times a day. Both they and our volunteers are performing extraordinary work -- contacting families and individuals, following up with clients to make sure they are doing well, and participating in Zoom conferences to keep up to date with what is happening in the community. Food Pantry clients are assisted with applications and with arranging pick-up times for boxed food items.Wellness check phone calls are made to our Latino Elders daily, and we are helping clients get answers to urgent questions. Our Domestic Violence counselors are available by telephone or by video link to work with their clients and families being impacted by the virus restrictions in addition to their other safety issues.

Because of these efforts, I have never been prouder of the staff and volunteers-- and of our Board, for their continued support. Together we are making an enormous impact even with our current model of service. We are in this together, keeping in our hearts the Center’s mission in these times of uncertainty

More Center news:

We have, sadly, acknowledged the passing of our dear friend and former Board Member, Mr. Lionel Reinford. His spirit will remain with us through our appreciation of his dedication to the Center and through his amazing artwork. Rest in peace dear friend. Vaya con Dios.

On a brighter note, we have received news that former Board Member Angelita Santiago , is now recovering in a Worcester rehabilitation facility following serious illness. We send her our best wishes and prayers.

  • Our food pantry volunteer, Shirley, paid by our generous and good friend Peter Bovenzi, has been fulfilling food requests and facilitating distribution three days per week.
  • A local "virtual" foot race for hunger was also created by a Facebook supporter, Melissa Hendry, for our anti-hunger programs.
  • United Way of North Central Massachusetts has sent additional funds to assist with our Covid-19 response.
  • We have received numerous donations from our local sponsors donors and funding sources which are outlined in the poster below. A Leominster couple, Nancy and Mike Saucier made a significant donation of groceries which went a long way towards re-stocking our food pantry shelves!

Thank you all for stepping up to help at this challenging time.



 Neddy Latimer, Executive Director
Our Recent Donors, Funders and Volunteers
Thanking Our Wonderful Community for Generous Acts of Support:
SAC Collaborates with LUK, Inc. For Telehealth Program
The Center is a partner in a collaboration with LUK, Inc. and Community Health Connections. This is part of a grant award the LUK from the Health Foundation of Central MA to institute and study a Telehealth protocol and practice for working with behavioral health clients. Our role in this collaboration is to provide Spanish translation during Telehealth counseling sessions with clients who are more comfortable speaking in Spanish. We thank LUK for including us in this exciting project.

Local woman promotes SAC in her own Virtual Movin' For Meals Fundraiser!

"In the spirit of giving to others, I would like to continue coming together for the good of our community. I am challenging each of you (again) : DON’T STOP MOVING! Join me in the "Movin’ for Meals Fun 5K Run/Walk” on May 30th."

I have partnered with the Spanish American Center/Centro Hispano Americano, a non-profit social service agency here in Leominster, MA. Let’s turn our miles into meals! Please consider making a commitment to run (or just move your body) on May 30th. Rather than charging an entry fee for a typical road race, I’m asking you to donate the entry fee to help alleviate food insecurities in our community.

Donate today:
Venmo: @Melissa-Hendry-2

“The Spanish/American Center’s mission is to respond to the social, health, educational and cultural needs of the Leominster community and surrounding areas with special focus on the Hispanic / Latino community, limited by language, poverty and access. They foster economic self-sufficiency, equal opportunity, and active participation in community related activities for better quality of life.” Please visit their website at: www.spanishamericancenter.org for more information about their mission and the services they provide.

For those new to our group, I set a goal to run a road race every month this year. Well, 2020 certainly changed that plan. The Coronavirus has brought on many emotions for each of us. I try every day to focus on the positives – for instance, I am healthy and I can MOVE. Moving my body every day has helped reduce the anxiety of the unknown and helped me manage what is such a stressful time. I may not be able to participate in an organized race, but I CAN run and I don't intend to stop!" - Melissa Hendry

We are overwhelmed with Melissa Hendry's generous spirit AND that she chose the Spanish American Center. You go girl! ¡Muchas Gracias! Many Thanks!
SAC Awarded Funding From Fallon Health
Covid-19 Relief Fund - May, 2020

" Fallon Health, a mission-focused, community-based not-for-profit health care services organization, today announced its latest relief efforts to support the community in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to the $25,000 Fallon previously donated to "Worcester Together"—a fund established to address the immediate community relief efforts across their key service areas—the organization has awarded $75,000 in emergency relief funding for organizations that support food insecurity and/or senior isolation and support services.
“We were overwhelmed by the number of applicants to the emergency relief funds—a response that speaks volumes about the needs created by COVID-19. We are proud to be able to stand with our community partners and help to accelerate their responses,” said Richard Burke, President and CEO of Fallon Health." - Fallon Health

SAC was among fifteen third round selected agencies (see below). We have put this money to use immediately for our food pantry recipients. Thank you, once again, to Fallon for your recognition of The Spanish American Center as a key provider of much needed assistance to our community.

Wash Your Hands, The Best Prevention is in your Hands
  Special thanks to PJ Taucer and Jodie O'Donnell R. MPH, Wachusett MRC , in Hubbardston for the donation of door hangers in English and Spanish to place in boxes of Food pantry deliveries Regarding Wash your Hands, The Best Prevention is in your Hands Watch for Symptons and When to call the Doctor. THANK YOU!
Due to Covid 19 precautions, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester is offering ON LINE Summer Courses:
FREE Virtual Class
Sponsored by Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester
Information: Citizenship Here
Free Virtual ESL Classes
English Language
Sponsored by Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester
Information: Here
SPRINT Corporation makes donations to our food pantry!
This month we were contacted by SPRINT wireless communications to ask if they could send their #SPRINTFAM Care Kits to the Spanish American Center to assist us in our mission to erase hunger in our community. We wish to acknowledge their generosity and to thank Margaret Paghera , Field Marketing Manager, Sprint Northeast Region and Dayana Mari , Store Manager for the SPRINT location at 14 Commercial Road in Leominster, for arranging this donation! SPRINT provided 3 food bank kits which included 320 items 50 canned items -vegetables -fruits -Pasta sauce, etc., pictured here.
¡Muchas Gracias! Thank you!
Senator Dean Tran Delivers - Commonwealth of Massachusetts Funding for Hunger Relief FY 2020!
May 22, 2020 - Senator Dean Tran visited us at the Spanish American Center on Friday to present Neddy Latimer with a check for $10,000.
Shown above, the Senator is presenting a check - keeping safety precautions in place due to the current health crisis. This funding was as a portion of the Commonwealth's overall budget appropriation/earmark for hunger relief, for which Senator Tran was the principal advocate. It was his mission to include programs like our community food pantry in order to enhance the quality of life here in his district. This funding will be put to immediate use as we strive to meet the needs of those whose lives have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Senator Tran also delivered much needed protective face masks at the time of his visit. Per SenatorTran: "This is the best part of my job, that is, to be able to serve and provide for the communities that I serve.   #CommunityFirst "
We thank Senator Tran and his legislative team for their dedication to this cause.
¡Muchas Gracias! Thank you!
SAC Chosen for
Hannaford's Fight Hunger Bag Program
June, 2020
(Townsend Hannaford)
We are excited to share that Spanish American Center has been selected by Hannaford store leadership to benefit from the Fight Hunger Bag Program for the month of June! 

For the month of June, Spanish American Center will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable Fight Hunger Bag at the Hannaford store located at 18 Main Street, Harbor Village, Townsend MA .

In this time of uncertainty due to COVID-19, supporting local non-profits has never been more important. That is why the Fight Hunger Bag Program will continue as planned. Supermarkets are still busy, and shoppers are still buying Fight Hunger Bags as a way to give back
We truly value the excellent work you do on a daily basis to make our communities better. We look forward to helping you make the most out of June! 

Jim Brennan
Hannaford Community Bag Program

¡Muchas Gracias! Thank You!
In Memorium -
Lionel D. Reinford , September 9, 1942 ~ April 24, 2020 SAC Volunteer, Board Member, Artist, Teacher, Community Activist
It is with tremendous sadness that we share the news of the passing of our friend, volunteer and former Board Member, Mr.Lionel Reinford. Lionel was an educator, artist and mentor to our children. His spirit will live on through his incredible artwork. We send our most sincere sympathy to his family.
For more photo memories of Mr. Reinford and his wonderful artwork which he showcased in a benefit for the Spanish American Center at the Fitchburg Art Museum in 2017 click here: Lionel Reinford Evening at the Art s