Good Shepherd Parish Food Pantry
Starting June 1, 2023: The 1st/3rd Saturday of the month Distributions will return to walk-in shopping only. Senior Citizens: 9:00 am – 10:00 am; General Public: 10:00 am – 12 noon.**
Tuesday (weekly) hours: General Public: 8:00 am – 11:00 am; Senior Citizens: 11:00 am – 12 noon**
**Only one visit per week, per household to our food pantry. Be sure to have your registration bar-code key tag when you arrive. A household of 1-2 people may take 2 reusable grocery bags of food; a family of 3 to 5 people may take 3 reusable grocery bags.
During the 2020 corona-virus pandemic, our food pantry went to bi-monthly Saturday contactless, pre-boxed distributions only from the alternating weekly Tues/Sat walk through shopping. In March, 2021 we were able to reopen the pantry for additional Tuesday morning shopping. Begun here in April 2019, in collaboration with the Greater Boston Food Bank, Good Shepherd Parish began offering Saturday bi-monthly free food distributions of frozen proteins, along with dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables here at the Parish Center, back entrance off School Street for anyone with food insecurity. Users were asked to register when they visit the food pantry, to receive a bar-code key tag for subsequent visits. All information kept confidential. The database is one designed for Greater Boston Food Bank agencies so that we can track and manage the size of the community we serve. We do not provide any information to law enforcement, federal, state, or immigration agencies.
Our outreach distributor makes weekly food runs to the Greater Boston Food Bank, We are grateful for staff and volunteers that continue to help provide this service for those in need. This program was first made possible through our parish Good Shepherds’ previous financial support, and continues with monies from Catholic Charities and other generous donors, both large and small. Thank you!
To volunteer, contact Sarah, our food outreach distributor. firstname.lastname@example.org
All persons aged 18 and older must complete the “Essential Three” as outlined in the Diocesan Policy for the Protection of the Faithful in order to minister, work or volunteer in the Diocese of Fall River. Find all the training info and requirements to be met on our website SET Training and Documents and printed copies are also available within the food pantry, or at the main entrances to all 3 island Churches. If helping one-time only, you can fill out the One-Day Form provided by the supervisor, and give a copy of your driver’s license/ID. Volunteers are CORI’d annually. High School students aged 18 or younger will read and sign the Youth Code of Conduct, along with a parent or guardian. Contact Sue Pagliccia, CORI coordinator 508-693-0342 during our regular office hours.
2020 Update: From July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 we distributed over 217,280 lbs of food. the MV Food Baskets has handed out over 7,700 bags of food and 2,427 boxes of food. During this time frame, we were able to provide food for libraries, Community Services, Oak Bluff Elementary, MVRHS, Wampanoag Tribe, Senior Centers, as well as the Boys and Girls Club.
We have received grants from the Boston Food Bank for $10,000 and the diocese of Fall River for $8,000 to purchase a freezer – this enables us to distribute more food like frozen meats, soups, etc. In July, 2020 with thanks to the Martha’s Vineyard Charitable Foundation’s donation of $42,500, a 26′ refrigerated delivery truck was purchased for the Vineyard Committee on Hunger which we use. Money from the Permanent Endowment for MV and other generous donors keeps our program funded and allowed us to make much needed improvements to the food pantry space.
Children’s Food & Backpack Program–discontinued.
2020 Update: We ended in March with the school shutdowns due to the corona virus. MVRHS has resumed food distribution to students in Sept., while OB School and the Boys and Girls Club are working out details to start up again (see chart above).
2019 Update: From July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 we distributed over 75,000 lbs of food to over 6,100 individuals – including meals for over 3,900 children, 2,500 households, 2,100 adults, 125 seniors. We distributed over 1,800 bags of food and 1,200 boxes of food.
Piloted in 2017 at the Oak Bluffs School, the privately-funded backpack program sent kids home on Fridays with food to share with their families over the weekend. This effort is so students will not have a tougher time coming back to school after weekends and school vacations with headaches or stomachaches due to lack of nutritious food to eat.
Other Resources: The Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club has a Healthy Happy Kids (H2K) after school food program. They provide hundreds of Island children nutritious food after school.