Fresh produce, frozen foods and more supplies from the Greater Boston Food Bank are now available to food pantries in 18 South Shore communities thanks to the opening of a new food distribution warehouse in Rockland.
Construction of the warehouse at 40 Reservoir Drive was financed through a $70,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and a $50,000 state grant. The facility is meant to make it easier for local pantries to get supplies from the Greater Boston Food Bank.
The facility, called the South Shore Food Bank, will assist food pantries in Quincy, Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham, Rockland, Cohasset, Hull, Scituate, Marshfield, Duxbury, Kingston, Holbrook, Whitman, Abington, Hanson, Halifax, East Bridgewater, Randolph and Pembroke.
South Shore Food Bank expects to reach more people
Jonathan Tetrault, community impact vice president of the Greater Boston Food Bank, said the new warehouse "means so much" when it comes to helping people in need.
“Our mission is to end hunger in Eastern Massachusetts,” he said.
The Weymouth Food Pantry experienced a surge in requests for food assistance from households during the height of the COVID pandemic, said Nicholas Bulens, chairman of the pantry's board of directors.
"We have added 600 households to our list," he said. "That is a 127% increase from our pre-pandemic figure. The food pantry distributed over 670,000 pounds of food over 12 months. We had support from many private partners. Our next important resource will be this warehouse and staff."
“We have a second loading dock and will be able to store a 60% increase of non-perishable food,” he said.
State Sen. Patrick O’Connor, R-Weymouth, said creating the South Shore Food Bank “is incredible.”
"This will help so many people," he said. "One out of five Massachusetts families last year did not know where their next meal would be coming from. We will be able to feed more children. This is bringing communities together for a major purpose."
Weymouth Food Pantry volunteer Suzanne Goodson said the South Shore Food Bank will help area pantries "reach more people" in need.
"It will give access to South Shore food pantries and they won't have to drive into Boston to get food," said Goodson.
Hanover Food Pantry President Sally Boutin said she hopes the pantry board of directors in her town will agree to participate in the Greater Boston Food Bank.
“The food need over the past couple of years has been crazy because of COVID,” she said.
Weymouth 400 President George Raymond said creating the South Shore Food Bank proves "it takes a village" to help households in need.
"This is great for the community and region," he said.
Original Source: https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2021/11/16/south-shore-food-bank-offers-fresh-produce-to-food-pantries-to-give-to-financially-strapped-homes/8630489002/