The Winthrop Food Pantry is in desperate need of donations. The pandemic has caused a rise in food clientele, doubling the need in the past few months alone. That combined with the fact that the Boston Food Bank, which is their greatest source of food, limited Winthrop to a once a month pickup and a maximum weight of 4000 pounds, dropping drastically from the pre-pandemic days.
“The Boston Food Bank is feeling the strains of feeding people as well,” said Dona O’Donnell, Director of the Winthrop Food Pantry. “Not all products are available every time. Sometimes a thing as basic as peanut butter is unavailable.”
Due to Covid-19, the pantry has lost many of the activities that bring in food. One of those is the National Post Office Food Drive, which the pantry has always relied on as a great help for stocking the shelves.
Since the pantry’s shortage, O’Donnell said they have had the help of the Town Manager’s office providing volunteers for collections, the police and firefighters have contributed sizable donations, and several residents have stepped up to help raise funds. But the need remains, and as soon as the shelves are stocked, they are emptied.
“We are always in need of food. I have been the director for about seven years now and I have never seen it this bad. We are currently making food drop offs to help stop the spread of the virus. In January 2021, we will be reverting to a curbside pickup. We have kept our volunteers to a minimum to keep everyone safe.”
Donations can be dropped off at the rectory porch located at 231 Bowdoin Street or people can call the pantry at 617-846-6884. The food pantry is a volunteer operation and is not always staffed but will return calls.