Jack Alves of the Charlestown Benevolent Fund has issued a fundraising challenge this week to everyone in the Town on behalf of Harvest On Vine – the Town’s only Food Pantry serving those less fortunate.
Alves wrote that he is issuing the community an immediate challenge, saying the Benevolent Fund will match any gift throughout 2018 and 2019.
“During the remainder of 2018 and for the whole of 2019, I will match your gift to Harvest On Vine Food Pantry up to $20,000 to help defray the cost of providing milk, fresh fruit and vegetable products in the Food Pantry,” he wrote. “If you take up this challenge, the value and impact of your gift will be doubled. If you donate $25, and $25 pays for 17 half-gallons of milk, I’ll match your gift and double the impact of your gift to $50.”
Harvest On Vine began in 2003 as an emergency food pantry as part of the mission of St. Catherine’s-St. Mary’s Church. Today, the Pantry serves more than 600 families on a monthly basis, which calculates out to about 2,400 needy people.
“Demand for food assistance is at an all-time high while many of the food sources that generally stock pantry shelves are in decline,” Alves wrote. “Rising food and gas prices have put pressure on family budgets and also make it costlier for Harvest On Vine to serve its Charlestown clients. Additionally, spending on low-income assistance programs has been reduced and federal programs face the prospect of cuts. The increased need for assistance is likely to continue for many years. Demand for emergency food assistance remains at unprecedented levels.”
The Charlestown Benevolent Fund is a donor advised fund at The Boston Foundation.