We hope that summer is off to a good start for you and that you have been able to stay cool! This week we want to take a moment to highlight the ways in which neighbors have stepped up to address food insecurity in our community over the last few months. Food insecurity has increased dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and more than 650,000 people in Eastern Massachusetts are now expected to experience food insecurity in 2020, a 59% increase from before the pandemic. This is reflected right here in Newton, where our local food pantries experienced all-time record high demand in June. To help support families who are unable to access the pantries themselves, Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors volunteers have been helping to deliver food from the pantries to local families since early April. In the past 12 weeks, 44 of you have helped make 288 deliveries to 40 local families - this has helped feed 172 community members, including 86 children. And in addition to this, some members of our NNHN community have been doing food pantry deliveries for the Newton Housing Authority, and dozens more have purchased and delivered food to neighbors to support immediate needs. We are so grateful to all of you who have been involved in these efforts - your incredible contributions to support your neighbors are hugely appreciated!!
Thank you to our intern Raissa Li for making this beautiful infographic!
How to help this week:
This week we want to share 3 ways that you can support food access for your neighbors:
Participate in Bike Newton’s Tour de Newton event and raise money for local food pantries: For the 2020 Tour de Newton, Bike Newton has put together a set of routes, including some classic tour routes, with something for every level of rider. There is a suggested donation of $5 per rider - once you donate, you'll get an email with a link to the routes. Ride one or more of the routes sometime between June 22 – July 5, and sign up your family, friends, or neighbors to sponsor your ride – with all proceeds to go to the three Newton Food pantries. You can find more information here.
Donate directly to our three local food pantries: Our Newton food pantries are doing amazing work to keep our community fed. If you are in the position to, consider making a financial donation to help support their critical work (please note that the pantries are not accepting food donations right now):
Click here to donate to Newton Food Pantry
Click here to donate to Centre St Food Pantry
Click here to donate to the Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry:
Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors
PS: Since the beginning, Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors has been working closely with another Newton initiative, Welcoming Newton, a group whose focus is building community among those new to town (and those among us who still feel “new”!). Welcoming Newton aims to build connections in Newton and share upcoming events, exciting programs, and the latest local news, which is especially important during this time of “social distancing.” Welcoming Newton and Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors have been working very hard to bring you the most up-to-date information on what is going on in the community. We will continue working together closely in the future. So, we want to encourage community members, new and old, to subscribe to the Welcoming Newton email list.