AARP Massachusetts Recognizes Mary Wheat as winner of 2021 Andrus Award!

Posted on 11/23/21 by Cindy Campbell

Mary Wheat has been selected by AARP to receive the 2021 AARP Massachusetts Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service. 

AARP Massachusetts selected Mary Wheat for her remarkable service, which has greatly benefited her community, reflected AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers. Wheat, an 88 year old Pittsfield resident, is the site manager for the largest food pantry in Berkshire County, which serves over 750 families each week from the South Congregational Church.

Wheat has single-handedly grown the pantry to become the largest in Berkshire County, and she’s at the church every day guiding the volunteers and food transportation.  She has deepened collaboration with other food pantries in the County.

“This award acts as a symbol to the public that we can all work together for positive social change,” says Mike Festa, AARP Massachusetts State Director.  “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities, neighbors, and the programs they serve.”

Recipients across the nation were chosen for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in or for which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.

For more information on volunteering, go to:

This story is provided by AARP Massachusetts. Visit the AARP Massachusetts page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

More from AARP in Springfield

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at; additional AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Springfield
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner