Helping those in Need during the Holidays

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As we approach the holiday season it’s important to remember our fellow Bedford residents who may need a little help this year.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, people in need of help is greater than ever.  The use of the food pantry regulars is up 50% from a year earlier.  Heidi Porter said that “The need is still there and will be there for quite a while.”

This year the food bank plans on providing 150* meals for the week of Thanksgiving.   The food bank is planning to provide plates for easy reheating for those unable to prepare the meals themselves.   “We are just trying to be mindful that folks have a little something special during the holiday,”  says Porter.

Many people ask how they may help: Here’s a post from Bedford Community Table/Pantry:

On behalf of the Bedford Community Table/Pantry, please see the following update featuring ways you can help fellow Bedford residents in the coming months:

As we head into the winter holiday season, various groups have asked how they can help meet the needs of economically insecure Bedford residents.

First, a bit of recent history: The pandemic drastically increased the need for food assistance in Bedford. In response, the town created the Bedford Food Bank, managed by the Bedford Youth and Family Services Dept., funded by the Bedford Emergency Relief Fund, and staffed by volunteers.

The smaller Bedford Food Pantry, operated by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Bedford Community Table/Pantry, Inc. (BCT/P), went on hiatus, and BCT/P became the major Food Bank supporter, providing food, funding, and volunteers. The Food Bank now serves about 120 Bedford households a week.

How you can help:

Thanksgiving Meals: Continuing the Bedford Food Pantry tradition, Food Bank clients will get all the ingredients for a turkey dinner. If you would like to donate turkeys, sides, or desserts in bulk, contact Bedford Food Bank Coordinator Carla Olson at 781-275-7727 x4330 or colson@bedfordma.gov.

Diaper and Personal Item Bank: The Diaper Bank provides the Food Bank with diapers, baby wipes, feminine products, etc. To donate items, use the Amazon Wishlist at https://bit.ly/BedfordDiaperBank. Community Social Worker Christopher Bang, 781-918-4328 or cbang@bedfordma.gov, can answer any questions.

Holiday Gift Card Program: Last year, Youth and Family Services brightened the holidays for 96 Bedford children by giving their parents gift cards to buy them gifts. YFS accepts gift cards from Target, Walmart, and Amazon. If you are interested in donating gift cards, please contact Community Social Worker Christopher Bang at 781-918-4328 or cbang@bedfordma.gov.

Winter Coat Drive: The Coat Drive works with the Bedford Neighbor Brigade and Cradles to Crayons to collect winter clothing for Bedford residents in need. Unused coats, hats, and gloves are always welcome. To donate brand new outerwear, please contact Youth Social Worker Mackenzie Comeau at 781-918-4331 or mcomeau@bedfordma.gov.

Financial Support: Monetary gifts are always welcome. As of November 8, the Bedford Emergency Relief Fund will stop accepting direct contributions and will rely on BCT/P for fundraising and funding. Make a tax-deductible contribution at http://www.bedfordfoodpantry.org/content/donate or mail a check to Bedford Community Table/Pantry, Inc., 12 Mudge Way, Bedford, MA 01730. We happily accept donations from donor-advised funds, employer programs, etc.

I hope this list has piqued your interest. The enthusiastic support of these efforts is part of what makes Bedford such a special community, and we are endlessly grateful.

With thanks,

Deborah Quinn, Vice President
Bedford Community Table/Pantry, Inc.

 

 

*Correction: an earlier version of this story states that 250 meals are slated to be distributed Thanksgiving week by the Food Bank. The number at the last BOH meeting was 150 meals.

 

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