Getting Help + Helping Others

Food brings people together.

volunteering at school pantriesFood brings people together. Whether it’s giving food or receiving it—or sometimes both—it can turn a group of strangers into a community.

“The first time I went to the pantry I was nervous. I didn’t know what the people would be like there. But it’s like a big family.”
~ Candice, parent who receives food and volunteers at a Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) School-based Pantry

Candice and her three children, ages 8, 10 and 14, lived in a shelter before moving to Revere six years ago. Her two youngest children now attend Paul Revere Innovation School in Revere, the site of one of GBFB’s free, farmer’s market-style School-based Pantries.“Since they’ve been born I’ve been their sole provider,” Candice said. “It’s tough some days.”

Candice has been going to the pantry since it opened a few years ago. GBFB operates nine School-based Pantries across Eastern Massachusetts. Families go home with 50 pounds of high-quality food from each monthly distribution.

“You go to the store and the produce is outrageously expensive, so you come here and its great,” Candice said. “I get potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, even fresh mangoes once.”

“My 8-year-old son loves being in the kitchen with me. He loves cutting the veggies, putting them in the pot,” she added.

Candice has also been volunteering at the pantry since it opened. Each month she helps set up the school cafeteria for the distribution and hands out food to other families.

“I love volunteering. I get to interact with other parents and show the kids that they’re helping out the community,” she said. “I can show them it’s not all about receiving, it’s also about giving.”

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