"Bread Ladies" Come to the Rescue at the Marlborough Community Cupboard

Bread Lady delivers to the Marlborough Community Cupboard

Retiree Marie Royea and her cohort, Mary, are well-known at the Marlborough Community Cupboard as the "bread ladies"—and they're quite proud of that.
Every Thursday morning, they pick up a large load of loaves—everything from white bread to raisin to boules, bagels and even pastries like donuts, muffins and cupcakes—from Sudbury Farms in Sudbury. The store donates everything to MCC, and one of the two "bread ladies" will bring the bulk delivery right to the food pantry.
Royea, a self-proclaimed environmentalist and "food rescuer," travels to Marlborough from Sudbury, switching off week to week with her friend Mary. She said she volunteers her time because who would rather see food that's still good going to someone in need and not into the trash at the grocery store.
"Usually they have to put it in their compost crusher. Just thinking about it makes me sad," Royea said.
On one of her last rescues, Royea pulled up to MCC with dozens of packages of fresh bread piled up in the backseat of her Prius. Volunteers from the pantry were waiting to meet her outside and brought the bread inside.
"We're happy to do it, and they're happy to get it. That's a win-win-win," Royea said.
At the United Way of Tri-County we're grateful for the "bread ladies" and others, especially—and most notably—Lovin' Spoonfuls, a Newton-based nonprofit leading the way in the food rescue movement, for all their efforts. The rescuers help fight food insecurity by bringing loads of fresh, healthy food on a daily basis to share with our clients before it goes bad. It might be bread or milk that's nearing the sell-by date or fresh produce that's starting to wrinkle or wilt.
Royea, who worked in medical equipment sales, said rescuing food is rewarding, and she's glad to help feed the hungry and do something for the greater good.
"I think it's important," she said, "to support what little pieces of community we have left."