Winthrop to Close Food Bank and Connect Remaining Clients to Local Nonprofits
WINTHROP — Town Manager Austin Faison, Public Health Director Meredith Hurley and Police Chief Terence Delehanty wish to thank the community for the significant outpouring of support towards the Winthrop Food Bank since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Faced with an unforeseen, significant rise in the numbers of people in need of assistance accessing food as a result of COVID-19, town officials swiftly came together to form a solution this March. The Winthrop Food Bank was established temporarily at the Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School on Hermon Street, and began providing locals with donated food items on Friday, March 20.
As Massachusetts tentatively moves forward with its reopening plans, the town has now decided to close the Winthrop Food Bank this week and is putting the remaining clients of the organization in touch with other established area resources. All remaining donated food items are being given to nonprofit organizations including the Winthrop Community Food Pantry and Mi-Amore.
“This was really a remarkable community effort, and in the middle of a pandemic it was heartwarming to see how hard everyone was willing to work to help their neighbors through this time,” Town Manager Faison said. “Well done to everyone who volunteered, and thank you so much for your time. We’d also like to thank all those who came forward to donate– you made a significant impact at a time when people needed help most.”
Generous donations of food were given to the Winthrop Food Bank by residents and businesses alike, and approximately 16 regular volunteers worked tirelessly to meet the demand spurred by the pandemic.
Approximately 200 households were served by the food bank per week at its peak.
“The COVID-19 public health crisis has posed a tremendous challenge to communities as we’ve worked to address a waterfall effect of ramifications, including a serious spike in the number of people who needed food assistance,” Hurley said. “Fortunately, we were able to organize this temporary food bank to help meet the needs of our town during this time, and now we’re able to connect those who need more long-term assistance to longstanding area resources.”
“This has been such an incredibly trying time for so many members of our community, and thankfully we were able to come together to offer a temporary food bank as a resource people could turn to,” Chief Delehanty said. “We encourage anyone in need of assistance accessing food to reach out to the below resources, who have also risen above and beyond the call of duty to help people, not only during the ongoing public health crisis, but since their inception.”
Those in need of food assistance can contact the following area nonprofits:
- The Winthrop Community Food Pantry at 222 Bowdoin St. can be reached by calling 617-846-6884. The pantry is open the first and second Wednesday of each month from 6:15-8 p.m. by appointment only. To visit the nonprofit’s website, click here.
- The Winthrop Veterans’ Food Bank can be reached by calling 617-846-3065.
- To contact Winthrop based nonprofit Mi-Amore, an organization that delivers food to those in need through donations, visit the organization’s website here.
- Seniors who would like to sign up for the Meals on Wheels program through nonprofit Mystic Valley Elder Services can call 781-324-7705. For more information, click here.
- Project Bread is Massachusetts nonprofit which works to provide access to food for those in need and also works to prevent poverty and hunger. To reach Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline (SNAP) call 800-645-8333. For more information, click here.