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During our weekly check-ins with families, we have discovered that not only are parents struggling with food insecurity, they are also suffering from the anxiety and fear of taking their children out of the home to buy food and essentials. We also recognized most of the sites throughout the city were providing food on weekdays and not on weekends. As USES is devoted to supporting our community and families, we responded by partnering with the YMCA of Greater Boston, City Fresh Foods, and About Fresh to establish the neighbor2neighbor Food Delivery Program.
Every Friday, volunteers ranging from our staff, board members, participants, and neighbors come together to create packages for families including fresh produce, prepared meals, cleaning products, diapers, etc. The packages are designed to provide meals for their full families for the full weekend and beyond. The items are carefully sanitized, packaged, and then delivered straight to families’ doorstep from caring community members that are willing to give back to their neighbors. With the uncertainty of employment, anxiety of the pandemic, and stress of affording basic necessities, this response initiative has helped the youth and parents in an extraordinary way!
The n2n Food Delivery Program started distributing food on April 24th, and since then, we have seen tremendous growth in the number of children and families served not only in the USES participants, but also across Boston’s South End/Lower Roxbury area. In the first week, we were able to provide food to 43 families including 97 children that were all affiliated with USES. Thanks to a partnership with Union Methodist Church and BiNCA, in the fourth week, we were able to support 132 families including 233 children with 55% affiliation with USES, totaling 506 people! We are now consistently serving over 600 people from over 175 families. The program has made a huge contribution to families struggling with the aftermath of this pandemic, and we are dedicated to providing the necessary resources to those who need us most.
With the expectation of the program expanding week-by-week, we will keep contacting and partnering with organizations to reach more families in the South End/Lower Roxbury area. Also, we will need more volunteers and drivers who are capable of lifting up to 25 pounds, on the condition that you have a vehicle and are willing and comfortable to volunteer in this capacity. If you want to learn how to give through the n2n Food Delivery program or are a family struggling with food insecurity, please email our President/CEO Maicharia Weir Lytle at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.