With schools closed, East Boston’s food distribution sites scattered across the neighborhoods have been doing an unbelievable job keeping up with the demand of feeding children and families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each day the six sites have been feeding hundreds of children and the staff at places like East Boston High School, the YMCA, Salesian Boys & Girls Club and the City’s neighborhood BCYF sites have all stepped up to make a difference in these uncertain times.
“I’m proud of how people have stepped up to help our community,” said Eastie High Principal Phil Brangiforte. “This is an important time to help out our most at risk families. I am proud to be part of the Boston public school. The Mayor has done great job in supporting students and the entire Boston community and bringing our schools and nonprofits together for this important program”
East Boston YMCA Executive Director Joey Gaeta said he couldn’t be more proud of the community in which he lives and works.
“My whole career has been at the Y,” said Gaeta. “Fifteen years ago I started as a camp counselor at the East Boston Y and now I’m the Executive Director. The last few days have been hard for everyone but the work we do for the community is evident. This is not a job for me this is a way to make sure my community has what it needs to thrive and survive.”
Gaeta said the Y’s two food distribution sites are handing out 250 meals per day on average.
“I will continue to serve until I’m told to stop,” said Gaeta. “I watched children walk by themselves to the Y to get food for their brothers and sisters so I take absolutely nothing for granted. Today is a present, tomorrow is a gift and I love East Boston.”
Over at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club staff has not only been handing out meals but also making deliveries.
Last Thursday the staff delivered 64 meals to Boys & Girls Club members.
“We know these are trying times so please reach out to us if you are in need,” said Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Michael Triant. “We will utilize whatever resources we have to assist. We have an amazing group of community based organizations in this city and we are all sharing resources and looking to help as many community members as possible. As one of my favorite board members says all the time, “Unity Conquers”.
Triant said the club also received a donation of hygiene supplies from Hope and Comfort, Inc., a non-profit based in Needham.
“The Salesian Boys & Girls Club would like to thank our friends at Hope & Comfort who have stepped up to support our members and families with these supplies,” said Triant. “As many of our families are impacted by the ramifications of the social distancing that is taking place, having these items will allow them to utilize limited resources on other important items as they move forward. Thanks to our friends at Hope & Comfort for being at the forefront of our efforts to assist our members and families during this emergency.”
Meal Distribution sites serving families in Eastie include the following:
* YMCA at 54 Ashley St 8am – 12pm
* YMCA at 215 Bremen St. 8am – 12pm
* Salesians Boys/Girls Club at 150 Byron St. – 8am – 12pm
* East Boston High School 8:30am – 11:30 am
* Martin Pino BCYF at 86 Boardman St 9am – 3 pm
* Paris Street BCYF at 112Paris St 9am – 3pm
Visit boston.gov/coronavirus for up-to-date information and answers to commonly asked questions.