Holidays Add Extra Pressure to Scituate Food Pantry

Holidays Add Extra Pressure to Scituate Food Pantry

Brenna Donovan and Annika McCanne

The last two months of the year are filled with special holidays. Whether one celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other holidays this season, many can agree that food is a critical part of these traditions that families enjoy together. 

During this busy time of year, the food pantry may receive donations that include traditional holiday foods. With the recent Thanksgiving holiday, students who volunteered at the food pantry put together bags with traditional Thanksgiving foods, such as turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, and mashed potatoes.

As much as these donations are appreciated and welcomed, there is an ongoing need for donations. According to former Scituate selectman Jim Pollard, who has worked at the food pantry for a little over a year, donations are needed all year: “People who are taking advantage of our services don’t just need things on Thanksgiving–this is a year-round thing.” He understands why people think the holidays are so important, but recognizes these are only a few weeks: “There are 51 others and people don’t stop eating in the summer and the spring,” he commented.

This year, Scituate’s Food Pantry has seen an increase in customers relying on their services. Many people don’t realize how many citizens of Scituate face food insecurity–especially since the pandemic and inflation in the economy. In the past six months, the food pantry has been serving around 140 families. The food pantry works to eliminate food insecurity in the town. The only requirement to gain assistance from the food pantry is to be a Scituate resident. Pollard explained, “If you need help, we’re going to help.” Most people who come to the food pantry get what they are asking for or a nice substitute.

The pantry keeps all of its customers confidential. If a town member calls 781-545-5827, a liaison will get back to them and take care of everything. Pollard emphasized that “people should feel very comfortable getting what they need.” The food pantry also does home deliveries for people who have medical issues.

Scituate food pantry accepts non-perishable donations that have been unopened. Some of the items they need consistently include condiments, canned fish, boxed rice and pasta, cookies and crackers, as well as personal toiletries. They stock a wide variety of food, including frozen meats and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

There are several places to donate. Village Market and Shaw’s supermarket have two large barrels, and the town library has a big donation basket. Right in the back of the pantry—which is located at 327 First Parish Road—there are two big insulated bins, and donations can be dropped off at any time 24/7. Conveniently, they also accept cash donations through the website, which helps the pantry prioritize what they need to buy. 

If students at SHS are interested in volunteering for the pantry, their community service program meets on Wednesdays during the school year from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. Interested students can email the Community Service Coordinator, Juli McLaughlin, at [email protected].