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Helping Welcome Newsletter July 2023

School Supply Drive Starts Today!

Welcoming/Helping Neighbors July 2023

We’re all settled into our summer routines, but here at Newton Neighbors we’re already planning for the start of the school year. Today we launched our annual school supply drive, which will continue until July 28. We’re also looking for volunteers for our ongoing initiatives: the Freedge, food pantry delivery, and bulk food delivery. 

Looking for assistance? The Newton Y is offering free summer lunches and EMPath and Newton THRIVE, a new economic mobility initiative, launches in the fall.

Newton Neighbors School Supply Drive

July 10 - 28 

For children in Newton and neighboring towns 

In collaboration with The Village Bank and The Street Chestnut Hill

Donations Requested

  • New or gently used backpacks (priority: middle and high school backpacks)

  • New or gently used lunchboxes

  • Water bottles

  • New or gently used graphing calculators

  • $25 gift cards to Star Market, Target or Amazon for school supplies

Please do not donate items with monograms or company-specific logos.

1. Drop items to the following Village Bank locations 

Mon–Fri 8am–4pm; Sat 9am-noon

  • 307 Auburn Street, Auburndale

  • 332 Walnut Street, Newtonville

  • 89 Wyman Street, Waban

  • 411 Watertown Street, Nonantum

  • 1369 Washington Street, West Newton

  • 720 Beacon Street, Newton Centre

  • Corporate Office & Loan Center: 320 Needham Street, Suite 200 (Drop off Mon-Fri only)

2. Drop items to the Street Chestnut Hill

  • The Bagel Table

  • Hummingbird Books

  • Legit Activewear

  • OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

3. Or purchase items from our Amazon list:

Need Access to School Supplies? 


Newton Neighbors stocks the free Newton Community Freedge every Thursday. Please help our neighbors by picking up a few extra items when you go shopping for groceries. Drop them off anytime at the Freedge at 420 Watertown Street, or at 174 Oliver Road in Waban. Some of the most needed items are milk, eggs, yogurt, butter, flour, cereal, soap, cooking oil, pasta, and mac and cheese. We also need volunteers to help maintain the Freedge! If you have some time to give on Thursdays, please sign up here to help.

Food Delivery to Neighbors: Recruiting for July and August

We are actively recruiting drivers for all shifts for our grocery delivery program from local food pantries to neighbors who can’t get to the pantries on their own. Here’s the schedule:

  • Tuesdays from Centre Street Food Pantry (Newton Centre). Pickup at either 12 or 12:15.

  • Wednesdays from Newton Food Pantry (City Hall). Scheduled pickup times between 12:15 - 2:45.

  • The third Friday of the month from Post 440 Mobile Food Bank. Pickup between 9 - 9:15 am.

It takes about an hour of your day to make these deliveries. 

Sign up for August: 

Bulk Food Delivery

Our bulk food delivery program needs short- and long-term volunteers to join us in delivering fresh produce from local food rescue organizations to MetroWest and South Area food pantries. Help bridge that last link in the distribution chain and provide good food to so many who need it. Commitments range from once in a while to once every 4-6 weeks, or even more. Please contact us at to volunteer or find out more.

Free Summer Lunches at the YMCA!

The West Suburban YMCA in Newton is a meal site for Summer Eats, Massachusetts’ summer food service program. The federally funded nutrition program provides free, healthy meals to all children ages 18 and under when school is not in session.

In partnership with the Metrowest YMCA, the West Suburban YMCA will provide grab-and-go meals Monday through Friday from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm (lunch) and 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm (snack). Meals can be picked up inside at the Y’s Welcome Center. No registration, I.D., or membership is required.

  • Who: Any child or teen ages 18 and under

  • What: Free, nutritious summer meals

  • Where: West Suburban YMCA, 276 Church St., Newton

  • When: 11:30am - 1:30pm for lunch, 2:30pm - 3:30pm for snack. Available Monday – Friday.

The free lunches and snacks are also offered to campers attending the West Suburban YMCA's day camp - YMCA Camp Pikati.

For more information, contact Keri Wood, Director of Camping Operations, at or 617-244-6050 x3118.

Newton THRIVENewton’s Economic Mobility Initiative

EMPath's newest program provides mentoring support and cash assistance to Newton families. In February, EMPath was selected by the City of Newton to lead a new Economic Stability / Mobility Initiative to boost economic mobility among low-income residents. The initiative will support 50 Newton families with EMPath’s economic mobility coaching and will provide $250 per family per month in cash assistance over the course of two years.

Participants selected for the program will work one-on-one with an EMPath mentor to set a range of goals focused within several key areas: education, career advancement, finances, family stability (including housing), and wellbeing. Our coaching model—Mobility Mentoring®—gives families additional tools and resources to support them to climb the economic ladder.

Interested? Fill out the interest form here.!

Questions about the program can be emailed to

To be eligible for Newton THRIVE, you must:

  • Live in Newton, MA

  • Be living at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI)

  • Have children under 18 years old or be pregnant

  • Express an interest in working and increasing income

  • Be willing to meet your mentor regularly, virtually or in person

A priority of the City’s initiative is to support the economic stability and mobility of individuals and families with low incomes who were impacted most by the pandemic, disproportionately Black and brown families. Additionally, we will focus on families experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness, living in subsidized housing, or who are otherwise struggling. EMPath will begin recruiting Newton families in the summer and the program will launch services in the fall.

Ongoing Bike Drive

With our friends at the Franklin Elementary School PTO and the Prospect Hill Community Foundation, we are collecting hand-me-down and donation bikes for the Prospect Hill Terrace Public Housing Community. Last time we did this bike drive, we were able to collect and repair almost 20 bikes for the kids and families in this amazing, loving, and diverse community. 

We are looking for the following bike sizes in particular: 

Children's bikes:

  • 24" wheel, straight top tube - 8 bikes

  • 24" wheel, slanted top tube - 1 bike

  • 20" wheel, straight top tube - 2 bikes

  • 18" wheel -  2 bikes, one with training wheels

  • Balance bikes - 2 bikes

Adult bikes:

  • 1 bike to fit a 5'10" rider

  • 1 bike to fit a 5'4" rider

Please contact to arrange dropoff.

Happy Summer!

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