Centre Street Food Pantry's mission is to provide families within our community with consistent access to nutritious food in a dignified and sensitive environment. Fueled by the determination and passion of a few people from Newton, we opened our doors in January 2011 to supply food and essential items to residents of Newton and its surrounding communities.
We are fervently staffed by over 50 volunteers every week. Our growing organization is led by two part-time staff who oversee volunteers, food acquisition and pantry operations. Our volunteer board of directors are all active in helping us meet our mission.
We do not receive funds from the City of Newton or the state of Massachusetts. We depend on the generosity of people we live among to help us keep food on our neighbors' tables. We are humbled by their kindness and motivated by their support.
We source 90% of our food from the Greater Boston Food Bank where all produce is free due to MEFAP (Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program). We purchase food at a discounted rate from the GBFB and purchase some food and other items (including diapers and wipes) at full price from local suppliers.
We receive food donations from local vendors as well as people and organizations in our community.
On average 2000 bags of groceries are distributed each month
Our volunteers unload and set up 25,000 lbs of food from the Greater Boston Food Bank each month
Approximately 400 families shop each month.
We also stock personal hygiene and paper products for our shoppers.
We honor all household members. Pet food is always available.
We listen to our shoppers.
When we hear there is a need for food in our community, we address it.
The weekend is a difficult time for some students. The Fuel program provides kids who need it with a weekend's worth of easy-to-prepare healthy meals so students come back to school ready to learn. Pasta, chicken, peanut butter, oatmeal, dried fruit and healthy snacks fill the bags that are delivered to schools each week. We have proudly partnered with Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill on this amazing project.
School vacation months are difficult for some families with children. Without access to free breakfast and lunch at school, more food is needed at home. CSFP helps close the gap with an extra healthy food items like milk, chicken, tuna, peanut butter, applesauce, cereal and mac n'cheese for all families with children every month that children are on vacation or not in school.
The holidays are a special time and we want our shoppers to enjoy them too. Every household is given a gift card to purchase a turkey and we send them home with all the fixings to go with it (stuffing, pie crusts, roasting pan, pumpkin, fresh squash..you get the idea). Many thanks to Trinity Church for their generous gift card donations each year.
MEET OUR LEADERSHIP
Rose Saia: Pantry manager
Becky Snow: Volunteer Coordinator
Amy Less: President
Laurie Utstein: treasurer/controller
jean chadbourne: clerk/Secretary
karen allschwang: member at large
Katherine Ballas: member at large
Saadia Baloch: member at large
cathy boskey: member at large
evan hoffman: member at large
kaRen Kipman: member at large
risa shames: member at large
Jessica: I will start by telling you how this all began. Father Todd (Miller) and a few of the other Episcopal clergy in Newton noticed a significant increase in the needy knocking on their doors for items store gift cards, lunches, or any other handouts. I believe each of the churches had a different type of outreach for this type of need.
A meeting was put together by these clergy and some hand-picked parishioners from each of those churches. I was one of those parishioners. At this meeting, there was a goal to find a common way to help with the increased need in the area. Read on...
Amy: With tremendous support from other pantries, parishes and temples around town, a wonderful logo created by Lee Hatfield Designs and all necessary permits from the City of Newton in hand, we opened our doors on January 11, 2011. Our shelves were stocked with donations from Whole Foods, Panera Bread and other generous donors. Volunteers welcomed 14 families in the month of February! Read on...