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 Local Food Drives

ruggles may 2019

Thirteen fourth and sixth graders from Ruggles Lane School delivered 1,221
pounds of nonperishable food items to the Barre Food Pantry at the Barre Congregational Church on May 31st.  Principal Julie Vincentsen, school nurse Diana Tuttle and other faculty members helped organize the May food drive.

The food was collected during a school-wide spring drive to bolster pantry supplies that are distributed two times each month to community residents at the Barre Congregational Church.

Distribution of groceries to an average of 100 families from Barre, Oakham, Hardwick, Gilbertville and New Braintree takes place on the second Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon and on the third Thursday from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in cooperation with the church's free monthly Community Friendship Supper.

In addition to receiving the students’ donations, pantry director David Petrovick and long-time volunteer Chuck Radlo of Barre answered student questions and described food pantry operations to the students.

The all-volunteer food pantry has been operating in Barre for more than 30 years and receives support from many area organizations including the Barre Family Health Center, Woods Memorial Library, the Barre Lions Club, local churches, postal carriers, scouts and other groups. In addition to the two distributions each month, food pantry volunteers also deliver groceries to area shut-ins as needed.

For more information, please visit www.barrefoodbank.org. To volunteer please contact Sonja Blaney at (978) 355-6921. To make a donation or to plan a food drive please contact Michelle Bertrand at (508) 882-0164. To take advantage of pantry services or for other information about the pantry, contact Chuck Radlo at (978) 355-6463.


Food Pantry Adds 2d Monthly Distribution

Hello Fellow Barre Food Pantry Volunteers, Clients and Supporters—

Thursday, April 18th, was our first evening distribution ever.
We’re excited about giving clients and would-be clients who are unable to come to our regular second-Wednesday-of-the-month morning distribution an opportunity to receive groceries from the Barre Food Pantry.  The evening distribution will run from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, coordinating with the Barre Congregational Church’s free monthly Community Friendship Supper which runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m..  

Come for a warm meal with good company and then come upstairs to gather groceries to take home.

From this month forward we will be offering groceries to community members twice each month, both on the morning of the second Wednesday and on the evening of the third Thursday.
Please join us whether as a volunteer or as a client.  We will be happy to see you!

Organize a food drivePlan a dinner or other charity event.

cvs donates

March 23,  3029
- Jennifer Lish and Chuck Radlo

The Barre Food Pantry has received a large donation of health, first aid and beauty products from CVS, which will be made available to food pantry clients.

Jennifer Lish, a member of the Temple Emanuel Sinai congregation in Worcester coordinated the donation. A group from Temple Emanuel Sinai picked up the boxes and plastic crates of items from CVS in Walpole and brought them back to Holden. 

The CVS donation includes an assortment of sample size, small and some full-size products such as mouthwash, cough drops, aloe vera gel, cold packs, heat wraps, fiber gummies, cell phone chargers and bottled water. Volunteers Chuck and Lee Radlo picked up and brought the products to the Barre Food Pantry to be sorted and ready for distribution.

We are most grateful to CVS for donating these items. And we thank Temple Emanuel Sinai for making them available to the Barre Food Pantry.

Food Pantry Adds a 2d Distribution Day

The Barre Food Pantry at the Congregational Church is adding a second monthly distribution of food to area residents. The additional distribution will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The first evening distribution will be on April 18. The new evening distribution date will correspond with the monthly Congregational Church Community Friendship supper at the church on Park Street. The free community supper is held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every month. Area residents can participate in either or both.

The regular monthly food pantry distribution is held from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of each month at the church. That schedule will not change. David Petrovick, food pantry executive director, said the additional monthly distribution will offer more opportunities for area residents to use the Pantry. "Due to changes in the economy, client comments and input from other nearby food pantries, it became clear that our current single distribution in the morning was difficult for some to attend," Petrovick said. "We had been thinking about making more food available to more people for some time and our volunteers agreed to sign on to doubling the distribution."

Chuck Radlo, a long-time volunteer at the pantry, said, “Many of our clients are employed during the day but are still eligible for food assistance. This second scheduled distribution each month will allow those clients access to the full range of foods the Barre Food Pantry can provide.  Coordinating that time with the Barre Congregational Church's Free Community Friendship Supper, clients will have the opportunity to receive a warm meal in good company and to go home with groceries that will help meet their food needs during the month.”

 “We are more than grateful to our Barre Food Pantry volunteers for the additional time commitment needed to set up for this second distribution and for helping clients in the process of shopping their way through the available groceries. They saw the need and are stepping up to meet it.” Radlo said it will take some time to determine whether the added distribution will shift some residents to the new evening pickup session or reduce the number of home deliveries made each month. A second distribution each month will require more volunteer hours. If more residents are able to use the food pantry it could increase our monthly allotments from the Worcester Country Food Bank.

The Barre Food Pantry provides food assistance to more than 100 low-income residents and families in  Barre, Oakham, New Braintree and Wheelwright at the Barre Congregational Church on the town common. To learn more about distributions, dates and times and for more information about volunteering at the food pantry, go to www.barrefoodbank.org.

The food pantry welcomes volunteers of all ages and abilities and extends its thanks to its volunteers and community supporters.

Hannaford's of North Brookfield recently donated $205.84 to help the Barre Food Pantry meet the needs of government employees furloughed during the recent federal government shutdown. The food pantry  reached out to help area families affected by the  shutdown as well. During the government shut down, Hannaford's Corporate Office decided to have each store raise money and donate it to a local food pantry. The Hannaford Corporate Office selected the North Brookfield Hannaford to present this money to the Barre Food Pantry. Holly Clark, Hannaford's manager, presented Michelle Bertrand, Barre Food Pantry, a check in the amount of $205.84

Hannaford also regularly donates meat, bread and pastry to the pantry.  Hannaford's  has a drop off for non perishable food/health and beauty products for the food pantry. The food pantry relies on donations of non-perishable food from the community and buys additional food from the Worcester County Food Bank in Shrewsbury.  Financial donations to the food pantry can be sent directly to the church at 30 Park Street, Barre.

Other local drop-off locations include the Barre Family Health Center (reception desk); the Barre Senior Center on South Barre Road; Woods Memorial Library; St. Joseph's Church and the South Barre Rod & Gun Club. The gun club is now a permanent collection site for the Barre Food Pantry. The club  is currently collecting cleaning products, health and beauty products, laundry supplies, infant products and non-perishable food items.  Your local church may also collect items for the food pantry after weekly services. Please ask at your church.

lions donate

From left: Lion Michelle Biron, David Petrovick, Food Pantry executive director, and Lions Joe Petracone, Sal Imperato and Tim Mara.

The Barre Lions Club donated several hundred pounds of non-perishable food items to the Barre Food Pantry in February.
The food was collected at the Massachusetts Lions District 33A Mid-Winter Conference held February 8 - 10 at the Double Tree Inn in Leominster. Most of the 49 clubs from district 33A had representatives at this conference. Barre Lions Club members brought the collected food to the Barre Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry collects food from local donors, area markets and the Worcester County Food Bank. Volunteers serve more than 100 area families with a monthly distribution at the Barre Congregational Church and with emergency deliveries during the month.

Donations of non-perishable food are accepted at the Barre Family Health Center (reception desk), the  Barre Senior Center on South Barre Road, the Woods Memorial Library, at St. Joseph's Church and at The South Barre Rod & Gun Club. For information about  how to volunteer,
call Sonja Blaney at (978) 355-6921. For emergency assistance or answers to other questions call Chuck Radlo at (978) 355-6463.

Barre Congregational Church

Food Pantry

2018 Annual Report

Reduction in use due to a change in clients’ needs

The Food Pantry saw an overall reduction in use across all age groups and towns served this year, as clients with jobs have told us that they have difficulty using the Pantry due to it’s morning distribution time.

While it is great news that the unemployment rate has fallen to very low levels, it has to be noted that many of those new jobs are in part-time and/or low wage jobs, and many people are not sharing in the economic boom. Additionally, we have learned from neighboring Pantries that Barre residents are using their Pantry’s evening hours. It is apparent that we need to make a change to make sure we better reach those in need here at home.

Also of note, seniors and shut-ins have indicated that they have difficulty regularly using the Pantry, so we could use your help in soliciting for volunteers for delivery to shut-ins. Starting in April 2019, the Pantry will launch a once monthly evening distribution coinciding with the Community Dinner on the 3
rd Thursday of the month. We feel that clients can socialize over a hearty meal, and take home some groceries as well. There will be greater opportunity for collaboration, cooperation and fellowship.

The Pantry typically serves 80- 120 families each month and our clients take home a wide variety of non-perishable food items along with fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, dairy, meat and bread, totaling 25-40 lbs. per family.  
We made 12 monthly trips to the Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB) in Shrewsbury, bringing back nearly 30,000 lbs. of food allotted to us from the USDA, the Massachusetts Emergency Feeding Assistance Program (MEFAP), and food items donated to the WCFB by grocery retailers and distributors.

We were the recipient of food drives held by the Quabbin Regional Schools this last year. We wish to thank the Barre Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Barre Family Health Center and countless individuals and organizations for their significant contributions in 2018.
The Pantry uses monetary donations to buy non-perishable and perishable items from local farms and businesses. We are very thankful for all of our supporters and volunteers; we cannot do our work without your help.

Dave Petrovick, Director

 

Congregational Church Food Pantry
2017 Annual Report

The BCC Food Pantry saw another very busy year in 2017, with a 5% increase in the number total people served over 2016, along with a notable 32% increase in the number of new people seen at the Pantry. It appears that our region is gaining new faces! Children aged 5-17 and adults aged 18-64 were the majority of whom we serve. Use of the Pantry by our elderly decreased in 2017, the first-ever significant downward trend we’ve seen since we started keeping electronic records in 2007! Are there fewer older needy citizens in our area? Or, are they unable to avail themselves to the Pantry?

The pantry typically serves 100- 150 families each month and our clients take home a wide variety of non-perishable food items along with fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, dairy, meat and bread, totaling 25-40 lbs. per family!

The Worcester County Food Bank in Shrewsbury has highlighted the Pantry in their 2017 annual report as an exemplary Pantry offering a wide variety of fresh and healthy foods. This could not have been possible without the support of all our contributors!

We made 12 monthly trips to the Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB) in Shrewsbury, bringing back nearly 34,000 lbs. of food allotted to us from the USDA, the Massachusetts Emergency Feeding Assistance Program (MEFAP), and food items donated to the WCFB by grocery retailers and distributors. Several large food drives held by the Quabbin Regional Schools, Barre VFW, Barre Family Health Center and countless individuals dropping off donations at the area’s Churches, the Woods Memorial Library, the Barre Senior Center and a new collection box at the South Barre Rod and Gun Club filled our shelves to nearly bursting! Several community benefits were held for the Pantry as well.

The Pantry uses cash donations to buy non-perishable and perishable items from local farms and businesses. We are very thankful for all of our supporters and volunteers; we cannot do our work without you!

Dave Petrovick, Director

OTHER WAYS THAT YOU CAN HELP

Drop off non-perishables at the library or at the Barre Family Health Center.

Contact Michelle Bertrand at the food bank
 774-757-7888 for information about how  your group can hold a food drive.

Call Sonja - we can always use volunteers to help
set up the monthly distribution, carry groceries for clients each month or help deliver to shut-ins.

For information about volunteering call Sonja @ (978) 355-4002. For emergency assistance or answers to other questions call Chuck @ (978) 355-6463 We will return your call.

 

You can help our work in the  community by Sponsoring a Food Drive, by making a donation or by giving of your time.

For information about volunteering call Sonja @ (978) 355-6921. For emergency assistance or answers to other questions call Chuck @ (978) 355-6463 We will return your call.

The Barre Food Pantry is located at the Barre Congregational Church on Park Street.

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