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Feeding Neighbors: Making a Difference Locally

When we think of hunger, it’s natural that our minds often imagine tattered third world children with huge eyes like those portrayed in relief organization commercials. Some might not even consider that hunger lies right in our own neighborhoods, affecting children, adults, and elders in even the most affluent communities.

Local pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters rely on volunteers and donations so that services can be continually provided to those in need. It’s important to help those who might not otherwise have aid, as many of those affected by hunger do not know from where their next meal is coming.

Some of the notable places locally to volunteer or donate are:

  • Newton Food Pantry: Located in the basement of the Waban Library Center at 1608 Beacon Street, the Newton Food Pantry stocks their shelves with canned goods and toiletries, and fresh fruit, meats, bread, and dairy products when available. Food donations may be dropped every Wednesday 9 - 11:30am. Monetary contributions can be made via checks made payable to “Newton Food Pantry”. Visit their website for more information.

  • Centre Street Food Pantry: A non profit organization and a member of the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Centre Street Food Pantry is located on the lower level of Trinity Church in Newton Centre at 11 Homer Street. Monetary donations can be mailed directly to the pantry, and donations of non-perishable food, household items, or toiletries can be coordinated through emailing centrestfoodpantry@gmail.com. Visit their website for more information.

  • Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry: This ministry through the Arabic Baptist Church provides a food and clothing pantry to those in need of its services. To make a food donation, you can call (617) 723-9766 to set up a delivery time. Tax deductible monetary donations can be sent via checks to 187 Church Street Newton, MA 02458. Visit the church’s website for more information.

  • Rosie’s Place: This Boston location was founded in 1974 as the first women’s shelter in the United States. They not only provide shelter, but also meals, housing, education services, laundry, showers, and more. Monetary donations can be made directly on their website, and volunteers are always welcome. Visit their website for more information on how to contribute.

  • The Greater Boston Food Bank: The largest hunger relief organization in New England, GBFB makes a great impact in the lives of many people in need. Last year they distributed 48 million pounds of food, enough to provide healthy meals to as many as 545,000 people. Of course, they can’t do it alone. They offer multiple ways to donate your time or money, outlined on their website. Every $50 provides 150 meals, so every little bit helps others that need it most. Visit the GBFB website for more information on their efforts.

If you’re considering making a donation of food, consider the following list as options that are welcomed and usable by pantries:

  • canned fruit and vegetables
  • fruit or vegetable juice
  • spaghetti sauce
  • fruit cups
  • canned tuna, salmon, or chicken
  • canned beans
  • canned chili
  • canned soup
  • peanut butter
  • nuts
  • hot or cold cereal
  • dry milk
  • crackers
  • pasta
  • rice

If you’re interested in donating fresh items, contact the pantry directly to determine a drop off time, any stipulations, or if they have any specific needs that you can help address.

Another way to help those suffering from hunger is through a program called Meals 4 Others. This organization offers products and gifts on their website for purchase and uses a portion of the profits to benefit food pantries in your area. The best part is that you can choose which pantry to donate to! Consider getting your next gift for a friend or relative at Meals 4 Others and help those in need at the same time.

We can all do our part to help those suffering from hunger; whether it be through the gift of time, goods, or monetary contributions, it doesn’t take much to make a difference for those in our own neighborhoods.

Sources:
The City of Newton Massachusetts. Food Pantries in Newton. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/aKWX6s.
Rosie’s Place. At A Glance. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/OJS8Tx.
The Greater Boston Food Bank. How to Help. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/IBaO5b.
Meals 4 Others. Powerful Impact on Hunger. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/3jFMSN.
Arabic Baptist Church. Food & Clothing Pantry. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/Cdsk3T.
The Centre Street Food Pantry. Home. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/avGxjm.
LA Food Bank. The Best Foods to Donate to Your Drive. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/YAbCxi.
Brown, Billy. (March 4, 2010). Thursday, March 4 [image]. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/1TdKy2.
 
Deirdre O'Connor with Dwell360 is a REALTOR® who services the cities and suburbs of metro Boston. She is focused on her customers and her experience in the residential real estate market is extensive. Search for homes in Massachusetts and then give Deirdre a call.