Community Rallies Together to Support Local Food Pantry

Metrocrest Services’ drive-thru food pantry provides 10,000+ meals daily to neighbors in need. Credit: Metrocrest Services.

Over the last year, people around the world have been struggling with job losses, food shortages and trying to stay healthy in the midst of a global pandemic. Through it all, individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations have been doing their part to give back to those in need. When one of those local organizations, Metrocrest Services, needed a little extra help to provide food and financial assistance to local families, the community rallied together to show support. In just over a month, community members raised $100,000 for Metrocrest Services’ Food Pantry, unlocking an additional $100,000 matching gift from Metrocrest Hospital Authority.

The pandemic has put a strain on thousands of people, with many families having to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table. For those neighbors in need, Metrocrest Services is a beacon of hope. “Now, it’s more important than ever that funding is available to provide nutritious food to local families experiencing food insecurity,” said Metrocrest Services CEO Tracy Eubanks in a recent press release. “Last year, we saw a 275% increase in neighbors visiting the food pantry, many for the first time. We’re now serving roughly 150 families a day and anticipate this trend will continue well into 2021.”

Food pantries nationwide are experiencing food shortages, and Metrocrest Services is no exception. “We’re having to find new sources of food, and food inevitably costs us more,” Eubanks said. “We have to pay to ship food from other states and compete with grocery stores.” The money raised by community members and matched by Metrocrest Hospital Authority will provide 1,200,000 meals to those struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Metrocrest Services receives a generous $100,000 matching grant from Metrocrest Hospital Authority. Pictured from left to right: Angela Campbell, Real Estate Manager, Metrocrest Hospital Authority; Tracy Eubanks, CEO, Metrocrest Services; John Mahalik, CEO Metrocrest Hospital Authority; Charles B. Heath, Former CEO Metrocrest Hospital Authority; Krista Weinstein, Director of Grants, Metrocrest Hospital Authority. Credit: Metrocrest Services.

“We are committed to improving the health of our community,” said Metrocrest Hospital Authority CEO John Mahalik in the release. “One of the fundamental pillars of good health is proper nutrition. Metrocrest Services’ Food Pantry provides food to prepare balanced meals for residents who may not be able to afford these items on their own.”

According to the Metrocrest Services 2020 Community Impact Report, “For thousands of families,  2020 brought unthinkable devastation economically, emotionally, and physically. Metrocrest Services was at the heart of our community’s relief efforts providing hope to those who felt hopeless. In 2020, Metrocrest Service helped 28,066 people navigate the crisis. Of those served, 60% were requesting assistance for the very first time.”

If you want to help, consider volunteering to work in the food pantry,  which is currently serving 10,000 meals daily.  Volunteers will help feed neighbors in need by providing produce, meat, hygiene items, and boxes of shelf-stable foods. Volunteers will serve outdoors but will be sheltered from the elements by our Volunteer Comfort Station.

Since 1971, Metrocrest Services has provided services for individuals, families, and seniors that lead to self-sufficiency and foster independence. Services include emergency financial assistance, financial coaching, food pantry access, employment coaching and job readiness, senior services, and more. For additional information, visit www.metrocrestservices.org.

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