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  • Writer's pictureNewton Neighbors

Eblast, May 26, 2020

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

We have all been social distancing for over two months at this point and despite the guidelines on staying apart, we are impressed with the many creative and generous ways our neighbors are coming together! This week we want to both highlight the incredible work of many members of this group and identify ways you can get involved!

Manisha Trivedi and a group of neighbors work each week to cook, pack and deliver lunch bags through the We Care Charity - to homeless shelters in Lowell and Lawrence. In 8 weeks, this amazing group has donated over 2900 lunch bags! Each brown bag has a sandwich, snack, fruit, and juice. Interested in getting involved? Contact Manisha through Facebook messenger @Manisha Trivedi or email her at

Kris McKeigue is collecting food on behalf of her sister-in-law, Joanna, who is a principal at an elementary school in East Boston. When coronavirus shut down schools, Joanna and her teachers wanted to make sure their families were fed and so organized their own food bank. Want to help? Please bring any non-perishable food items to the front porch at 1734 Beacon St in Waban any time today or early on Wednesday, May 27th. Kris will be bringing all items to Joanna on Wednesday for their regular Thursday deliveries.

Marion Pollack and members of Temple Shalom of Newton are sponsoring a Front Porch Food Drive May 25 through May 31. Fill your grocery cart or Instacart with an extra can or two of tuna fish and/or a box of whole wheat crackers. Items collected will be delivered to Family Table, the largest kosher food pantry in New England. Family Table provides healthy food that meets nutritional/spiritual needs to individuals and families in need. If you are interested in participating please email Marion at for a list of neighborhood porches.

Sue Hardy is collecting graduation gowns to send to the Gowns4Good initiative, formed in April 2020. According to Gowns4Good, “Graduation gowns are more effective than other PPE alternatives given their length, sleeves, and easy zippered access.” Please email Sue at for drop off information.

Maura Bullock is continuing to work with local businesses and Newton Housing Authority to distribute to residents living in Newton public housing - particularly seniors who have been self-isolating and young children (ages 5 and under) who need to be entertained and are not yet in school. Participating local businesses include Newtonville Books, Henry Bear's Park, Greentail Table, The Paper Mouse and Hipstitch! Care packages are $25 or $50, and can be purchased online by visiting the Care Packages page on the Welcoming Newton site, then by clicking on the link to the local business website.

Ranjani Paradise (NNHN Coordinator) is organizing deliveries of food from food pantries to families in Newton who cannot get to the pantry themselves. If you are interested in volunteering to pick up food and deliver to 3-4 families in June, pease sign up here:

Karen Masterson, owner of Johnny’s Luncheonette in Newton Centre, is helping spread the word that the best way to support small businesses in Newton is by ordering food for pick up or delivery directly through your favorite restaurants rather than using a third party service such as Grub Hub or DoorDash!

So many neighbors helped a member of our community fill her home with furniture and household items this week. Please keep an eye out for requests like this in the future!

Two other ways to connect with and support your community right now:

Donate to the Newton Schools Foundation’s Honor Thy Teacher program in the name of one or more teachers - you can show your appreciation for them AND support Newton’s schools as our teaching and learning environments evolve. Dollars raised will fund grants for promising educational initiatives, professional development and programs that close gaps in opportunity and achievement. In recent weeks, NSF directed its resources toward the challenges of COVID-19 with an $85,500 grant for the Newton Public Schools to purchase 300 Chromebooks for students needing access to online learning during school closures. To help NSF continue to fund the innovative programming it has supported in the past, and new programming that may be needed during this uniquely difficult time, a donation to NSF through the Honor Thy Teacher program is more important than ever. NSF will notify each teacher honored and share their names with principals and the Superintendent. A list of honored teachers will appear on the NSF website and in the Newton TAB. It’s easy to donate online at:

Attend the Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ) Zoom meeting with NNHN this week. FORJ is a group of diverse Newton families helping our children learn about issues of power and inequality and how to stand up for racial justice. FORJ seeks to generate understanding and curiosity about differences in our society, and to work together towards racial equity. The meeting will take place on Wednesday 5/27 at 7:30pm. We will share some information about NNHN and our work thus far, and there will be a breakout discussion to explore how social justice, bias, systemic racism and equity intersect with the ways we approach receiving and giving aid. We are excited about this opportunity to share and learn together with FORJ, and we hope you can join!

Need assistance? Local funds - application deadlines coming up!

Rent assistance fund: The Newton COVID-19 Emergency Housing Relief Program is here to provide housing assistance for Newton households experiencing a loss of income due to COVID-19. Applications are due June 3rd.

For more information and to find out if you may be eligible, read:

Translations available thanks to NNHN volunteer translators: Arabic الترجمة العربية ; Chinese 简体中文; Japanese 日本語; Korean 한국어; Portuguese português; Russian русский; Spanish español; Turkish Türk Dili; and Vietnamese Tiếng Việt.

Small business grant deadline: Funded from the City’s federal emergency allocation of Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds, the $300,000 Program will aid in the stabilization of existing small brick and mortar businesses within the City that have had significant business disruption due to COVID-19. Program funds will provide businesses with assistance for commercial rent or mortgage, wages, loss of inventory, and other demonstrated costs. This program focuses on assisting the smallest merchants in Newton. Grant awards will range from $10,000 for microenterprises (5 employees or fewer, including the owner) and $15,000 for businesses with six to twenty employees. (Franchisees of national or regional chain businesses will not be eligible to receive funding through the program.) Interested? Small business recovery applications will be accepted until May 27, 2020 and can be found at or by emailing

The Newton COVID Care Fund is still accepting applications for financial assistance (and still accepting donations!) - more details:

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