At Grace Church, increased efforts amid diminishing funds

Keeping the shelves at the Grace Church Food Pantry fi lled to capacity takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

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Grace Federated Church on the corner of Saratoga and Byron Streets is like the Little Engine that Could. With limited funding to rely on the church has been able to move mountains and climb steep hills.

For the past 14 years the church has successfully run a food pantry to benefit East Boston families in need of nutritious meals throughout the week.

However, with a grant from the City of Boston that the church depends on still not in, church members have turned to the community for help.

“We feed 80-100 families per month,” said Marilyn Ford about the year long program. “But it’s frustrating when money we depend on to buy food for these families does not come in.”

The churches has teamed up with East Boston Savings Bank, Main Streets and the Kiwanis Club and together have been able to keep the amount of food coming in steady but more could still be done.

City Councilor Sal LaMattina sent out a call to arms last week urging residents to help the church.

“The cupboard is almost bare,” said LaMattina. “East Boston’s Grace Federated Church food pantry supports local families who otherwise would not get enough to eat, but the current economic slowdown is straining the program’s resources. If you are able, please contribute canned goods and other non-perishables by dropping them off at the church.”
People can also drop off canned goods at East Boston Main Streets, located at 146 Maverick Street, or at one of the following East Boston Savings Bank locations:

• Maverick Square branch, 10 Meridian Street

• Central Square branch, One Bennington Street

• Orient Heights branch, 856 Bennington Street

• Northshore Mall branch, 67 Prospect Street, Peabody

“Let’s do our best to make sure none of our neighbors go to bed hungry during this holiday season,” said LaMattina.

Ford and Dennis Bosmen said that during the food pantry distributions on Saturday from 10 a.m. to Noon at the church, the pantry was able to give out 3 to 4 bags of food to families which would represent about 12-15 nutritious meals.

However, with the recent shortage they are only able to hand out 2 bags to families.

“We make sure there is healthy cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, sauces, pasta, peanut butter,” said Bosmen. “It’s very rewarding to know you are helping but it can also be frustrating when you don’t have enough to give.”

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