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Plant.Grow.Share.: The Importance of Food Pantries All Year Long

September 15, 2020

Hunger is a community issue all year long and that’s why food pantries are so important any time of the year. The focus of the Plant.Grow.Share. program season has remained on helping those in need to have access to fresh produce. While there’s still time to make donations from your own garden, you can donate farmer’s market produce, store-bought produce, or make monetary donations to your local food pantry throughout the year.

“Today, more than ever, coming together as a community is very important. We are very pleased to be a part of Plant.Grow.Share.,” said John Keohane, co-president for Keohane Funeral Homes. “Many families are struggling because of the pandemic and our hope is that the Plant.Grow.Share. program can help.”

The Plant.Grow.Share. program is a collaborative effort between Keohane Funeral HomeInterfaith Social Services, the Weymouth Food Pantry and the Milton Community Food Pantry to encourage backyard growers to donate produce to local food pantry clients.

“Our alleyway garden was fantastic this season and the Girl Scouts who planted and maintained it continue to harvest tomatoes, greens, herbs and peppers. We received many, many garden donations from individuals, as well as the Quincy Police Department, area church gardens and community gardens,” said Jennifer Sammons, Interfaith Social Services Communications Manager. “With the ongoing pandemic, the number of people in need in the community continues to rise and rise. We want to be able to give them fresh, healthy foods and the Plant.Grow.Share. program really helps meet that need.”

Food Pantries Help All Year Long

Food insecurity continues to grow as the pandemic persists and local food pantries become a lifeline for those in need. The need for food, both fresh and shelf-stable, will only continue to increase into the fall and winter as more and more families are affected.

“We are seeing record numbers of people requesting food from us. We anticipate the need will continue through the winter. We’re ordering thousands of pounds of food weekly from the food bank, in addition to our food rescue efforts. We’ve been supplementing by purchasing additional fresh produce to ensure that our clients are getting a healthy mix of shelf-stable foods and fresh produce, meat and dairy,” said Sammons.

Our local food pantries are hungry for healthy produce. As we continue into the harvest season, you can find fresh produce at your local farmer’s markets. Bring some home for yourself and then bring some over to your local food pantry!

Once the cold weather sets in, consider picking up some extra produce at your local supermarket to donate to those in need.

How You Can Help

For those who would like to help, the food pantries are happy to receive donations of both home-grown produce and fresh store-bought produce.

“As we come into the season of giving, we will see an increase in the number of food drives. We hope that people will remember that hunger is a year-round issue and will perpetuate their generosity throughout the year. Food and monetary donations are always welcome. Interfaith has incredible spending power – with a $5 donation we can purchase 25 meals,” said Sammons.

Donations of fresh produce from your garden or supermarket for Interfaith Social Services can be dropped off at 105 Adams Street in Quincy from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Donations of fresh produce for the Weymouth Food Pantry are accepted at all three Pop Up Pantry locations or at their warehouse:

Tuesdays, 10:00 to 11:00 AM at The First Church at 17 Church Street, Weymouth
Thursdays, 10:00 to 11:00 AM at Crossroads Worship Center at 241 Broad Street, Weymouth
Saturdays, 10:00 to 11:00 AM at Old South Union Church at 25 Columbian Street, S. Weymouth
Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at 40B Reservoir Park Drive, Rockland

Monetary donations can be made by visiting the following websites:
Interfaith Social Services http://interfaithsocialservices.org/donate/
Weymouth Food Pantry https://www.weymouthfoodpantry.org/donation-page
Milton Community Food Pantry http://miltonfoodpantry.org/donations/

For questions or to volunteer for the Plant.Grow.Share. program, please contact:
Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning at Keohane Funeral Homes, (617) 773-3551
Rick Doane, Executive Director of Interfaith Social Services, (617) 773-6203
Pam Denholm, Executive Director of the Weymouth Food Pantry, (781) 331-7682
Pat Brawley-Morise, Director of the Milton Community Food Pantry, (617) 696-0221

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