Generosity Needed: Grace Church Food Pantry Needs Your Help

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

The Grace Church Food Pantry, which has been serving East Boston for decades, is running out of funding and is turning to the community in hopes of support.

Jane Crapo of the Grace Church Food Pantry underscored the pantry’s dire financial challenges. Specifically, the pantry only has enough funds to support the current demand for two more months.

According to Crapo, the food pantry, founded by Marilyn Ford about 30 years ago, has seen its demand grow since its inception as an emergency food pantry that served around 10 families a week.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Crapo says the food pantry, on the high-end, served around 25-30 families a week. However, when the pandemic hit, demand drastically increased.

“When the pandemic happened, our numbers just skyrocketed. We had probably over 150 families a week waiting in line for food; it was really quite scary,” said Crapo.

While demand has decreased since the height of the pandemic, Crapo emphasized that the food pantry is still serving around 150-180 households a month.

“Yeah, it did go down, but the need is still there; the need is definitely there,” she said.

Although Crapo indicated that the food pantry managed the demand during the height of the pandemic due to the community’s generosity, she says the amount of monetary donations has decreased post-pandemic.

“There have been several times over this last year that our account has dipped to the point where it got a little scary, like how are we going to do our shopping for next month,” said Crapo.

Though the Grace Church Food Pantry, which is open the first two Saturdays of every month, receives some help from the Greater Boston Food Bank through the YMCA—200 bags of food a month—it also does its own shopping, which costs around $2,000-$2,500 a month.

The shopping the food pantry does out of its own account supplements the products received from the Greater Boston Food Bank since participants can only come once a month.

“Where they can only come once a month, we want to make it so they walk out of there with at least several meals in the bags that we give them,” said Crapo.

The food pantry received a $10,000 state grant last year, and Crapo hopes it will receive another this year. However, that grant money only goes so far—about five months.

Crapo made it clear that without funding, trouble could be on the horizon for families who usually come to the food pantry.

“If the funds get to a point where we can’t do that supplemental shopping, not as many families will be able to be served, and not as much food will be able to be given,” said Crapo.

“We might still get support from the YMCA, but it’s going to be like one bag of food, which I guess is a blessing if you need food… it’s really truly not enough,” she added.

For those who want to make a monetary donation, the pantry is accepting checks and money orders. Checks or money orders should be made out to Grace Church Food Pantry and can be mailed to 760 Saratoga Street, Boston, MA 02128.

Moreover, an online donation option is in the works. Residents should keep an eye out for the Grace Church’s website ( and Facebook page ( for more information on the online donation option when it becomes available.

Additionally, the Grace Church Food Pantry is accepting food donations, but they must be non-perishable items. For those looking to donate food, first call 617-543-3360.

“If the funding runs out, less families will be helped, and less food will be given out,” said Crapo.

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