“When you leave a situation, sometimes very quickly, you need resources fast,” explains Christine D’Angelo, 30, mother of two—and the survivor of domestic violence. Having fled home with her children for a shelter, she reflects on what was her new reality—a version defined in part by no job, no car, and no permanent home. “It was difficult for a long time,” she says simply.
“This place has honestly saved my life… and it’s given me the resources and nutritious foods needed to survive.”
And then she brightens. “But this place has given those to me,” she says, describing the assistance she has received from the Needham Community Council. “Leaving the shelter, I’ve been able to survive with my children, thanks to the food pantry,” she adds. “Full bellies are happy bellies.” It’s not just the fresh produce, milk, eggs, and bread that drew her to the pantry once a month for the last two years. Grocery gift cards, the backpack program that provides school supplies, household goods and personal hygiene products are also welcome. “It’s nice to have dish soap…toilet paper…and that’s made a huge difference for us, not having to worry about basic necessities.”
Appreciated too, is the judgement-free zone in which the pantry operates. “They don’t judge whether you’re just leaving a domestic violence situation, whether you’re homeless, whether you’re just getting on your feet,” she explains. “There were times when it was very scary but knowing that I had food and other necessities—that is the greatest blessing. This place has honestly saved my life… and it’s given me the resources and nutritious foods needed to survive. I want people to know that I’m doing well now, and that the food pantry has been a huge help for me. So, I am grateful to every single person who has ever donated. We need help and it’s amazing that we can come here to get it.”
Read more Stories of Hope and the impact of GBFB and our network of partners and supporters.