Burlington Food Pantry’s Julie Lewis Earns Commonwealth Heroine Award

The Senior Pantry Manager of Burlington’s food pantry, People Helping People, has received a 2024 Commonwealth Heroine Award, which goes to women leaders across Massachusetts who make their communities better, often without fanfare or recognition. 

“I was really surprised and overwhelmed, but it’s really gratifying,” Lewis said. “Especially in this economy, we’re always adding more clients, the need is out there. The word is out there that we’re here to help, and I think that’s always been my personal focus with the organization, is that outreach piece.” 

Lewis said the real heroes were the PHP volunteers who give their time to the organization. “They do this out of the goodness of their heart, and we couldn’t do any of it without all the amazing volunteers we have.”

lewis headshot insertState Representative Ken Gordon nominated Lewis. “Julie Lewis is an obvious and exciting choice for the Commonwealth Heroine Award nomination,” Gordon said. “Her dedication to her community is clear not only through her work as the pantry manager for People Helping People, but her inspiring volunteer efforts as well. … Each year, legislators have the chance to nominate women in their districts who have positively impacted their communities through business or volunteer endeavors. It is clear to see that this award was made for Julie Lewis. She is truly a hero to many and is undoubtedly deserving of this honor. I offer her my sincerest congratulations.”

Lewis graduated from culinary school in 2008 and worked in food service management and retail before joining People Helping People about two and a half years ago, though she’s been coordinating the annual Thanksgiving program for over 10 years. She recently founded the Burlington Community Collaborative, a group of nonprofits and social services agencies who meet regularly to foster collaboration across Burlington. 

“It’s particularly meaningful that this is an award that’s outside of the Burlington community,” said Jane McIninch, the president of the board of People Helping People. “For her to be recognized at a state level for the work that she’s doing in the Burlington community speaks volumes.”

Lewis has been invited to the Massachusetts State House to receive the award in a ceremony on June 14. She will also be honored at the People Helping People Annual Open House. June 26 at 21 Murray Ave in Burlington, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

Article from BCAT TV

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