Special to the Independent
On June 17, Mayor Carlo DeMaria joined Everett staff and volunteers at the City of Everett Connolly Center to distribute food to Everett residents who are experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 health pandemic. The distribution was a milestone in that it was the day that the City surpassed 500,000 pounds of food distributed since the pandemic response began.
Overall, the City of Everett has distributed more than 500,000 pounds of food since the city was forced to lockdown during the surge of the novel coronavirus. As one of the hardest hit communities in the state of Massachusetts, City workers have made an increased number of trips to the Greater Boston Food Bank as the need has grown exponentially, from three to as many as six times a week. During the month of May, the City collected more than 140,000 pounds of food from the Greater Boston Food Bank.
This past week alone, the Facilities Department picked up nearly 40,000 pounds of food to be distributed at The Connolly Center Food Pantry. The weekly Grab and Go Food Pantry is in its 14th week, serving a minimum of 1,200 individuals, weekly.
The City of Everett has aided residents who need food resources since the beginning of the Coronavirus surge.
Aside, from the food pantry, volunteers have also distributed food to various Everett senior buildings, including numerous bags at Golden Age Circle and the Whitney Lorenti house.
Daily, there are 125 bags of groceries delivered by staff and volunteers to the homes of seniors, the handicapped and others that may need assistance.
Two weeks ago, the food pantry donated to LUMA, The Grace Food Pantry, Rev. Mimi Daniels, The New Covenant Church on Ferry Street and The Brookline Food Co-Op, who also feeds Everett Families.
The Connolly Center food pantry relies heavily on The Greater Boston Food Bank, Garden State Produce, Signature Breads in Chelsea, The Brookline Food Co-op, and The Grace Food Pantry for food resources.
Breaktime Cafe, has been working with the City of Everett over the last several weeks. While creating more than a dozen good-paying restaurant jobs for young adults experiencing homelessness and returning citizens, the café has served 5,000 meals to vulnerable populations in Everett. Together, the City of Everett and Breaktime has set up an efficient distribution network to get hundreds of meals out to Everett residents every day in partnership with LUMA, Eliot Family Resource Center, La Comunidad and the North Shore Evangelical Church.
Since May 19, For Kids Only Afterschool (FKO) has provided the City of Everett with snack packs to be distributed to children in need in the City of Everett. Each snack pack contains enough USDA-approved snacks for seven days, half of the snacks are fruits and the other half will range from granola bars, graham crackers, milk and yogurt. FKO has provided the City with 1,600 snack packs per week.
As of June 15, Off Their Plate has committed to providing the City of Everett with 500 meals per week in order to help feed people and families experiencing food insecurity issues.
On May 28, Bread of Life began their Drive through pantry at the Lafayette School and have been feeding an additional 300 families in Everett on Thursdays from 3-5 p.m.