Tag Archives: hunger

Helping folks eat healthy – 🎵🎵 🌽🍅🍆💗 to our souls!

St. John’s Food Program: Helping the Working Poor Survive – And Saving Lives!

By Dorrie Maynard

ICT editor Rose called me a month ago and asked me to write a story about St. John’s church (located on Temple Street in Worcester) – specifically the church’s amazing  food distribution center/pantry/kitchen. I balked – told Rose there have been many stories written about St. John’s and that I would not have anything interesting to add. However, she pressed the issue, like she always does, so I took the assignment … and onward I went!!!

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ICT’s intrepid Dorrie Maynard at St. John’s church community kitchen!🌺

First, I had to talk to the program’s director Bill Riley to see if he was interested in doing a story for InCity Times and go from there. Volunteering with Central Mass Kibble Kitchen, I am at St. John’s twice monthly passing out pet food to the working poor who have cats or dogs to feed, so I know Bill. I went in and asked him if he was up for another story – a cover story. To my
surprise, he agreed! He told me to be at the church’s St. Francis food center (named after the patron saint of the poor) the following Tuesday at 7 am when the doors open and I could shadow him for the morning.

I called Rose to tell her that Bill had agreed. She was ecstatic! I told her Billy wanted me at St. John’s  for 7 a.m!!!! I like my beauty sleep!😉 I don’t get out of bed to go to my
real job until 7:30 a.m! So “heading to church” for 7 a.m  was not something
I was looking forward to!  I had to have my early bird sister give me a wake up so I’d be sure I was up at 6 am the following Tuesday.

When I got her call that day it was
still dark out!!!! …

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My dogs were a bit confused as
well! We never get up at this “unGodly” hour, but I had made the commitment, now I had to walk the walk! I got to St. John’s about 7 a.m. when the doors to their community kitchen open, there was a line already out the door – folks waiting to get a free, nutritious breakfast to start their day. About 70% of the folks who go to the food kitchen are the working poor – THEY HAVE JOBS BUT AFTER PAYING RENT AND OTHER BILLS THEY HAVE TROUBLE BUYING GROCERIES FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES. St. John’s supplements their usually minimum wage pay checks. The rest of the “guests” are the homeless/struggling.

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Church and school groups offer their time and people power! They volunteer at St. John’s food pantry/kitchen, helping to feed the hungry, as Jesus Christ preached to the world! pics: Dorrie Maynard👼

Rubbing the sleep from my eyes I made my way in to the food pantry to find Bill. He suggested that I stick around – work the food line for the day – and get a real feel for the place. I would see how things ran … I was already up, so even though I wasn’t happy about the game plan, I decided to take a step and observe the busy-ness of the place.

Bill showed me around a bit and then handed me my apron and told me to get behind the counter and start serving!!! Pronto! I was put in the front line at the bread station. I was
giving out bread and placing ham on it so people could make sandwiches to either eat there or “to go. ” Diners next stop was the girl beside me who was putting cheese on the ham. Then from her, “guests” put on condiments.

It really was quite assembly line – a bit crazy at times, but once I got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing!

There was such volume …

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Some of the hundreds of pounds of donated food!

…and people wanting ham but not thr cheese! Or two pieces of ham – not three! Some folks wanted wheat bread, some wanted white, some didn’t want the ends, some didn’t care.

At one point, I heard someone yell at me: “Hey, aren’t you the cat food lady?” They remembered me from my Kibble Connections visits!

I said: YAH!

There are many people who visit St. John’s for their breakfast and lunch and then visit the Mustard Seed soup kitchen for their dinner. I volunteer at the Mustard Seed too – giving out pet
food every Wednesday through the Kibble Connection. And I also help the poor or himeless by giving out items that people need on a regular basis – so
there were many familiar faces at St. John’s!

Bill told me they feed several hundred people daily!!! He feels for the people who pay their rent and bills and don’t have enough money to feed themselves (as their food stamps have been cut back) or buy extra items that are needed. Some people are indeed homeless and
struggling with addictions.

Everyone is welcome at St. John’s, assuming they can adhere to the “tight ship” that Bill runs and maintains. Bill is a former prison guard who tolerates no games, no dealing, no rudeness, no cutting in line, no problems on the premisses. There is a Worcester Police officer on duty at all times to enforce this policy, if needed.

Bill pretty much knows everyone by name and shows everyone respect and goes above and beyond to make people happy.

People come to him with special requests: asking for a cake
for a birthday, some ice cream for a family celebration, some cottage cheese, some fruit,etc. Bill either goes in
the back to find it himself or asks one of his many dedicated volunteers to make the journey into the many places where these goodies can be found! He’s a truly selfless man!

St. John’s has been blessed with the support/partnership of the Stop & Shop supermarket chain …

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Bill has two vans that are out daily making pick ups of food that hasn’t sold but is still completely edible. Bill also gets many donations from other retailers that are unable to sell things for one reason or another. On the day that I was there, he was fortunate enough to receive a large donation of
new bed pillows! There was something wrong with the UPC labels that made them
unsalable. Bill is super generous and asked if I would like to have some for the women at Abby’s House. Knowing that we can always use items for the shelter guests, I quickly said YES!

Another person I need to mention that has generously contributed to the success of St. John’s Xavier Food Center is Frank Carroll. He has helped to build the building and the new cooler that was much needed. Frank is on the board and is a member of the Church community. When Frank’s wife died, Bill and several of his volunteers stood outside on the sidewalk between the Church and the center when her body was driven by in the hearse to pay their final respects.

Pastor Father Madden is also a very visible figure at the Xavier Center! He runs a ROBUST AND WELCOMING ST. JOHN’S CHURCH THAT EMBRACES COMMUNITY!

I had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Madden the day that I was there and was present when he said grace before the meal. Everyone stood together, and even though they may have been different from each other on many levels, it was so great to see everyone standing together and praying and hoping for the same things!

At the end of the day, Bill turned to me and said: “Dorrie, you got your story.”

And that I did💗.

St. John’s Xavier Center is a place that people can go to to get a good meal,a smile, mutual respect and, if they are lucky enough, a new bed pillow!💗💗

The hours at St. John’s Xavier food Center are Monday through Friday, 7 am – 11 am. Food is served there and food is also given away. Families seeking food boxes must live within the 01604 zip code.

Saturdays 8 am -10 am – the St. John’s church free veggies and fruits (and other goodies!) give away. The location is 20 Temple St.

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Free veggies and fruit at St. John’s, every Saturday morning!

Go, Jim, go!🎼💐

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Jim joins Meals on Wheels in Webster to help deliver nutritious meals to local elderly folks!💙

From Jim’s office:

Congressman Jim McGovern Joins Meals on Wheels to Help Deliver Nutritious Meals to Central Mass. Seniors!

Today U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, a leading anti-hunger champion, joined local Meals on Wheels volunteers in Webster to help deliver meals to Central Massachusetts seniors in need.

The local chapter of Meals on Wheels serves nearly 500 seniors in 13 different communities in Central Massachusetts.

Today’s meal delivery to seniors with Congressman McGovern is part of his continued effort to raise awareness about the difference the program makes and fight back against the proposed funding cuts in President Trump’s budget that would hurt Meals on Wheels.

“America is the richest country in the world, but every year nearly 6 million seniors struggle with hunger. Thanks to Meals on Wheels and local organizations like Tri-Valley Inc., we’re helping to change that,” Congressman McGovern said. “Senior hunger is a problem we can solve, but not without these great organizations. President Trump’s budget would recklessly cut $3 billion from community development block grants that help fund Meals on Wheels.”

He continued: “We need strong investments to help fight senior hunger. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s also cost effective, because keeping seniors in their homes with access to nutritious food is less expensive than providing nursing-home care.”

McGovern concluded: “We need to ensure that seniors aren’t falling through the cracks and that they aren’t going hungry. I am grateful to our local leaders and volunteers with Meals on Wheels and proud to support the work they do to help seniors in need.”

Joining Congressman McGovern for today’s Meals on Wheels delivery were members of Tri-Valley Inc., a non-profit serving seniors in Central Massachusetts, and local volunteers.

“Helping our Central Massachusetts seniors stay independent and get the nutritious meals they need is one of Tri-Valley’s top priorities. We are proud to work with Congressman McGovern and Meals on Wheels to serve our local communities and help to stop senior hunger,” Tri-Valley Inc. Executive Director and CEO Marilyn L. Travinski said.

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, research, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time.

TOMORROW! Sat., Oct. 22 – Celebrate World Food Day! At REC Community Farmers Market – University Park!

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Sat., Oct. 22 – at Main South’s Crystal Park (aka University Park) – Join REC to celebrate …

WORLD FOOD DAY 2016!!!

… with a slate of events scheduled to highlight:

healthy food choices

food justice

food accessibillity for all!

Learn new ways to celebrate food and promote sensible, just food policies for Worcester and Central Mass!

There will be:

Food Tastings!

Yoga!

Face Painting!

Kids Games!

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Events Sponsored by:

Main South Community Development Corporation

Worcester Food Policy Council

Regional Environmental Council (REC)

University of Massachusetts Medical School

*********

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What is World Food Day?

A global campaign to draw attention to and celebrate healthy, affordable foods produced in a humane, sustainable way and to fix the food system by:

Promoting safer, healthier diets

Supporting sustainable and organic farms

Reforming factory farms to protect the environment

Supporting fair working conditions for food and farm workers

World Food Day is a day of action against hunger!!!

Tomorrow people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime.

Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero.

World Food Day celebrates the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada. First established in 1979, World Food Day has since then been observed in almost every country by millions of people.

Why care about hunger?

Because the right to food is a basic human right.

In a world of plenty, 805 million people, one in nine world wide, live with chronic hunger. The costs of hunger and malnutrition fall heavily on the most vulnerable.

60% of the hungry in the world are women.

Almost 5 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition-related causes every year.

4 in 10 children in poor countries are malnourished damaging their bodies and brains

Every human being has a fundamental right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food. The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child has the physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.

Because we can end hunger in our lifetime. It’s possible. The world produces enough food to feed every person on the planet. In September 2000, world leaders signed a commitment to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals …

Since then:

40 countries have already achieved the first target, to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

In addition, over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half, which means about 17,000 children are saved every day.

Extreme poverty rates have also been cut in half since 1990.

The challenge is significant, but these results show us that when we focus our attention, we can make big strides.

Because the cost of neglect is too high.

No one in the world should have to experience hunger. In addition to the cost of human suffering, the world as a whole loses when people do not have enough to eat. Hungry people have learning difficulties, are less productive at work, are sick more often and live shorter lives.

The cost to the global economy because of malnutrition is the equivalent of US $3.5 trillion a year.

Hunger leads to increased levels of global insecurity and environmental degradation. Ending hunger is not just a moral imperative, but also a good investment for society.

Because it can happen to anyone. Even in the U.S., one of the richest countries in the world, one in seven Americans – 14.3 percent – does not have enough to eat.

Nutritious food can be expensive, making a balanced diet a luxury for many.

Loss of a job, a family tragedy, poor health, or an accident can make anyone, anywhere, go hungry in a moment.

Globally, extreme climate events, war, or even financial crisis can dramatically affect a person’s ability to feed themselves and their families.

Without social safety nets, resiliency measures and good policy in place, these small and large events can set off a cycle of hunger and poverty.

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REC YOUTH GROW URBAN FARM IN MAIN SOUTH – 63 Oread St.

From REC:

We need YOUR help getting the Main South YouthGROW Urban Farm ready for fall!

Join us on through the end of October on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2-5 pm and help us pull crops and harvest produce that will be sold on the REC Mobile Farmers Market!

Questions? Email Bettny Mazur at farm@recworcester.org

FOR INQUIRIES ABOUT OTHER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES, CONTACT Calandra Chaney at volunteer@recworcester.org

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LAWRETA KANKAM, YouthGROW Junior Staff photos:REC

From REC:

We are excited to welcome our newest YouthGROW Junior Staff! Lawreta is a Junior at South High School in Worcester and just completed her first year in YouthGROW.

Lawreta was hired as Junior Staff this fall beause of her excellent leadership abilities, passion for youth employment, urban agriculture and community education. Congratulations to Lawreta on her new position!

With new WPS super, Worcester should consider district representation on the Worcester School Committee

By Gordon Davis
photos by Gordon Davis

What is to be done now that Maureen Binienda is the new Worcester Public Schools Superintendent?

The success and education of our children are the only issues now. We have to work together to effectuate these goals. Any division or animosity within the Worcester School District must be put aside.

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Dr. Binienda

Since the search was internal to the Worcester School District, the candidates for the schools superintendent job still have important jobs to do and must continue to do their good work: Dr. Mulcahy teaching English, Dr. Allen running Norrback Elementary School and Dr. Rodrigues continuing his work as Assistant WPS Superintendent.

Dr. Rodrigues faces a test of character, as he has to teach his replacement the ropes.  I am sure he will pass this test and be of great help to Dr. Binienda.

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Dr. Rodrigues

I think Dr. Rodrigues will eventually be scooped up by some school district which has a better appreciation of his talents, experience and education.

I think Dr. Binienda will do a good job until she retires in a few years.

As I have pointed out before, there seems to be something irrational or illogical regarding this WPS superintendent selection process. The irrationality became more evident when the two progressive Worcester School Committee members – Hilda Ramirez and Tracy Novick – were voted out of office this past November. They were replaced by at least one ideologue.

I also have to say that I was surprised by the votes of some long-time Worcester School Committee members who I thought were more level-headed.

One time, several years ago, then Worcester Mayor Joseph O’Brian suggested that there should be regional or district representation on the Worcester School Committee similar to that found on the Worcester City Council to ensure minority representation, to reflect the diversity of the students/families of the Worcester Public Schools. To ensure their voices, needs and perspectives were heard. I was skeptical at the time, as there is a so called minority majority State Representative district in our area that has never been filled by a minority.

After the recent events, I may have to concede the point to our former mayor.

The Worcester School Committee is entirely white – even though most of the children in the Worcester schools are not.

I do not think that this should last for long, for the good of the city.

For years the Worcester School District has been underfunded. It should be receiving at least $90 million a year more than it is now receiving in accordance with Chapter 70 of State statutes. Yet I have seen no urgency by the Worcester School Committee to fully fund the schools.

There has been no effort to organize parents or teachers or the community in general to demand full funding.  

Compare this to the student walk out in Boston.

The children once again lead the way.

There is a definite need for a change in leadership in Worcester.

It is not clear to me that the Dr. Binienda choice is a symptom of this lack of leadership. I wish her good fortune in running our public schools; our kids’ lives depend upon it. 

Hooray!!! Kudos to all involved!!!! … Supporting local farmers! Supporting the working class and poor! FRESH PRODUCE AND MORE VIA WORCESTER’S NEW FOOD HUB!!!

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and the Regional Environmental Council of Central MA (REC) are pleased to announce continued funding for their food hub partnership.
 
In 2015, the Chamber and the REC embarked on a yearlong assessment to determine the feasibility of establishing a food hub in the Worcester region.

Food hubs are broadly defined as facilities that manage the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, or marketing of locally and regionally produced food. A food hub provides better consumer access to fresh, locally grown food and a larger consumer market for the region’s farmers.
 
At the conclusion of the study, an application was submitted to The Health Foundation for funding of a pilot year. A slate of programs falling into three categories have been identified for the pilot grant year.

These initiatives will:

support healthy local food access

job creation

economic development

While the food hub currently has no official headquarters, much of the pilot year activities will be operated out of the Worcester County Food Bank in, Shrewsbury.
 
“Food is fundamental to our lives. We all eat, and we all want to eat fresh healthy food. So, ease of access to affordable healthy food is critically important to us, regardless of our station in life. Yet, it is estimated that 90 percent of the food we eat in New England comes from somewhere else,” stated Dr. Jan Yost, president of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. “Thus, the Foundation is pleased to announce a grant of $423,235 to the Regional Environmental Council of Central Massachusetts to partner with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to pilot a regional food hub.”

Yost went on to explain that, “Today 80 percent of the land in New England is covered with forest, much of which used to be farmland. Researchers suggest that by 2060, New England could expand its farmland to 6 million acres, or 15 percent of the entire land mass, which would enable New England to grow half of its own food.”
 
“The Worcester County Food Bank is the region’s largest anti-hunger organization, annually distributing nearly 6 million pounds of donated fresh and non-perishable food to a network of 131 Partner Agencies that help feed hungry people”, said Jean McMurray, Worcester County Food Bank’s Executive Director. 

She continued: “We are proud to host the Food Hub’s pilot year because we believe that healthy food grown and processed by community members benefits the entire community, including those struggling with poverty and hunger.”
 
Responsibility for pilot year activities will be split among the partner organizations, with the REC leading efforts to create opportunities for healthy eating via marketing, aggregation, and distribution of local farm products to institutional food service providers at area schools, colleges, and hospitals.

An initial group of eight to ten small to mid-sized family farms will be involved in these activities during the pilot year and four to five institutional buyers will be purchasing local farm products via the food hub.

The food hub will also be working to enhance healthy, local food offerings through the REC’s existing Mobile Farmers Market and through the City of Worcester Division of Public Health’s Mass In Motion Healthy Corner Store initiative.
 
”The REC has been working with organizational partners and grassroots community members for decades to help make healthy, local food universally accessible in the Greater Worcester area,” said Steve Fischer, REC Executive Director. “We are thrilled at the prospect that a regional food hub could help create a regional food system that is increasingly based on principles of economic and social justice and environmental sustainability. Working together, we have an opportunity to make healthy food more accessible while supporting local farmers, growing the economy, creating jobs, and preserving the environment.”
 
The Chamber will oversee food hub activities operated through a Commercial Kitchen Incubator to be located at the Worcester County Food Bank. During the pilot year, the Chamber will spearhead the recruitment of potential tenants including farmers, budding food entrepreneurs, small culinary businesses looking to take the next step in their development, and even home cooks looking to scale up a long-held family recipe.
 
“Given the success of last year’s planning grant process, we are excited to move forward with this pilot year that will set the stage for long-term success,” stated Chamber president and CEO Timothy P. Murray. “Our efforts with the commercial kitchen fit into our working motto of recruit, retain and incubate. Incubating the next generation of food entrepreneurs will help them turn their passion into a career, add to the region’s growing food economy, and result in a healthier population in Worcester and Central Massachusetts.”
 
The final piece of the pilot year project is a culinary training program that will be overseen by Quinsigamond Community College (QCC).

QCC expects to train at least 2 cohorts of 8-10 students and to provide job placement at area restaurants, caterers and institutional food service providers.

This new certificate program will target students who are members of vulnerable populations in Worcester County and who have previously experienced barriers to employment.
 
Dale Allen, QCC’s vice president for community engagement stated “Quinsigamond Community College is excited about being selected as a key partner in this grant. We are committed to supporting program activities that will increase access to healthy, fresh foods for underserved neighborhoods in our city. This program will be modeled after QCC’s successful ‘Cooking Up a Culinary Career’ program which has been offered for the past several years through the Worcester Youth Center and Hector Reyes House. We look forward to working with the Regional Environmental Council and Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to expand access to healthy food and economic self-sufficiency for vulnerable populations in Worcester County.”
 
All of the pilot activities will be carefully evaluated and measured by an evaluation team from John Snow Inc., a health consultant company. Working closely with the grant management team throughout the pilot year JSI will continually evaluate the activities to provide real time feedback. The success of the outcomes of the various aspects of the piloted activities will be key to determining how the food hub operates after the pilot year.
 
The Food Hub project will hire a full-time operations manager to oversee the day-to-day aspects of the project during the pilot year.

Other partners collaborating on the project include Central Mass Grown, World Farmers/Flats Mentor Farm, Worcester Public Schools, Pepper’s Fine Catering, UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agricultural Extension, Worcester Division of Public Health and the Community Harvest Project.

Clark University parked in A.I!

Feb. 18

FREE!

At Clark University: A social entrepreneur’s approach to 
hunger and wasted food
 

Former president of Trader Joe’s to present Clark U President’s Lecture
 
Social entrepreneur Doug Rauch will speak at Clark University at 4 p.m., on Thursday, February 18, in Razzo Hall in the Traina Center for the Arts, 92 Downing St.

Part of the President’s Lecture Series at Clark University, “A Social Entrepreneur’s Approach to Hunger and Wasted Food,” is free and open to the public.    
 
Rauch is founder and president of the Daily Table, an innovative retail concept designed to bring affordable nutrition to the food insecure in our cities through using the excess, wholesome food that would otherwise be wasted by growers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

It offers “grab-n-go” meals, freshly prepared on-site, as well as a variety of healthy grocery items (produce, dairy, bakery, etc.) at prices that meet or beat less nutritious food costs. 

Rauch spent 31 years with Trader Joe’s Company, the last 14 years as its president, helping grow the business from a small, nine-store chain in Southern California to a nationally acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 30 states.

He developed their prized buying philosophy, created their unique private label food program, and wrote and executed the business plan for expanding Trader Joe’s nationally. He retired from the company in 2008.

Rauch is also CEO of Conscious Capitalism Inc.; a Trustee at Olin College of Engineering; on the Board of Overseers at WBUR; and serves on the board of several for-profit and nonprofit companies. 

Rauch received his Executive M.B.A. from the Peter Drucker School of Management at Claremont University, where he won several honorary awards including the Early Career Outstanding Entrepreneur Award from Peter Drucker.  Rauch was also a recent Fellow at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative, where Daily Table was hatched.

BE THERE!!
 

Go, WPI, go!!!!

Each year, Worcester’s Friendly House, along with the Worcester Sheriff’s Department, WPI’s Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and other local sponsors, work together to collect food for a Thanksgiving meal program.

This program provides local families with a luxury that they may not otherwise be able to have: a Thanksgiving dinner.

Our mission is give these families a chance to spend their Thanksgiving holiday not worrying about putting food on the table.

Last year, the food drive was able to collect almost 193,000 pounds of food, and this year, the group is looking to raise the bar to 200,000.

All of the donations will be distributed by Friendly House to local families in time for the holiday season.

In addition to serving food to families in need, Worcester’s Friendly House also hosts a variety of after school programs for local youth at their facility and continues their work year round to support our Worcester community.

This is everyone’s chance to pitch in on the effort.

Collection bags will be distributed out to homes through most sections of Worcester on Sunday November 8th with a collection returning on Saturday the 14th.

This is an opportunity to make monetary or non-perishable food items.

Please take full opportunity to help us work to fight hunger in our Worcester community this holiday season!

Wednesday and Thursday! Worcester Farmers’ Market Coupon Distribution Kickoff!

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Elder Services of Worcester Area’s Nutrition Program and Friendly House wish to announce the MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources Farmers’ Market Coupon Kick Off Events

Wednesday, July 22

10 am – 12noon

Worcester Youth Center
(Beaver Brook)
306 Chandler St.

&

Thursday, July 23

10 am – 12noon
Worcester Senior Center
128 Providence St.

As available, first come, first served.
Distribution will begin July 22, and coupons must be redeemed by October 31, 2015.

Eligibility requirements:

Recipients must be at least 60 years old
Must meet income requirement; be at or below  185% of Federal Poverty Line (Single$ 21,774.50 annual/ $1,814.54 month ; Couple $29,470.50 annual/ $2,455.88)

Picture ID, proof of address, and recipient signature required.

Cambridge Street: Food Drive for the poor!

Friends of Jeremiah’s Inn,

1 out of every 3 children living in one of Worcester’s 14 lower-income neighborhoods experiences hunger. That is not ok!

Each year, the Jeremiah’s Inn Food Pantry feeds 12,500 individuals.

More than 1/3 of the people receiving food are children.

During the summer, our food pantry stocks tend to run low. You can help people from going hungry this summer by participating in the Jeremiah’s Inn 21st Annual Food Drive.

Jeremiah’s Inn will be at the Price Chopper on Cambridge Street …

 8 am – 6 pm

July 6 – 11

… ready to receive your donations of food!

If you’d prefer to send a check, you can mail it to: Jeremiah’s Inn, 1059 Main Street/PO Box 30035, Worcester, MA 01603.

Thanks for your support!

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Jim McGovern Tour Community Harvest Project and Host “Food is Medicine” Roundtable

Pelosi, McGovern Highlight Coalition’s Work to Reduce Hunger by Strengthening Community Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

GRAFTON – Today, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jim McGovern toured the Community Harvest Project and hosted a round-table on The Farm to Health Center Initiative and its work to reduce hunger and enhance positive medical outcomes for low-income families in Central Massachusetts.

Joining Leader Pelosi and Congressman McGovern were Jodi Koeman, Executive Director of Community Harvest Project, and leaders from The Farm to Health Center Initiative, the Worcester County Food Bank, the Family Health Center of Worcester, as well as state and local leaders.

“I am proud of the efforts of these organizations, Congressman McGovern and House Democrats in championing and leading the efforts to end hunger across the country,” said Leader Nancy Pelosi.  “It is our moral obligation to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry at night, seniors can rely on their next meal, and struggling families can put food on the table.”

“Today is my third visit to the Community Harvest Project and with each visit I am more impressed. This farm is a wonderful place where the community truly comes together. The fresh fruits and vegetables grown here help to put food on the table for so many of our families in need and this is all possible thanks to dedicated leaders and the volunteers who help to farm these crops every year,” Congressman Jim McGovern said.

“Our community is stronger when every family has access to healthy food and by helping to make that a reality, this project is a model for communities across the country. Leader Pelosi is a tremendous champion for everyday Americans. I am grateful to have her join us here today and I am proud to have her as a partner in Congress standing up for important projects like this. I also want to thank Jodi Koeman and everyone here for all their work to make the Community Harvest Project and The Farm to Health Initiative possible,” the congressman said.

“We were excited to host Congressmen McGovern and Leader Pelosi at Community Harvest Project to show them first hand the work we do to bring the community together for hunger relief,” said Jodi Koeman, Executive Director. “We are proud to highlight the Farm to Health Center Initiative. This initiative is a great example of how organizations can collaborate to improve access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables which affects the overall health of individuals and families struggling with food insecurity.”

The Farm to Health Center Initiative is a collaboration between the Community Harvest Project, UMass Medical School students, and Family Health Center of Worcester (FHCW) physicians.

The project is aimed at reducing rates of food insecurity by increasing patient access to and consumption of fresh produce.

The Community Harvest Project, in collaboration with University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Family Health Center of Worcester, has served as a model for innovative community-based solutions to increase access to fresh, high-quality and nutritional food to patients and over 99,000 of the most food insecure residents of Massachusetts.

Today’s event highlighted the important connection between healthy food, healthy lifestyles and healthy communities for the future of our children, seniors, hardworking families and our country.

At a time when House Republicans are assaulting the food safety net, Leader Pelosi, Congressman McGovern and House Democrats are working to ensure that no child is hungry, that seniors aren’t choosing between food and medicine, and that struggling families can put food on their tables.

Congressman McGovern, as Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, has been a leading champion in Congress in the push to reduce hunger in Worcester County and across the country.