Harvest on Vine emergency food pantry, the food pantry of St.Mary-St. Cathrine of Siena Parish, has indefinitely postponed the September 12th cookout-fundraiser because of the uptick in COVID. We don’t want to put anybody at risk.
Harvest on Vine hasn’t missed a single distribution since COVID hit, and it hit the poor extra hard. The demand for food has increased, and the number of Charlestown families that need food has increased. And the price of food has increased. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve been are able to meet the demand.
A statewide survey conducted by the Greater Boston Food Bank showed that food insecurity in Massachusetts grew 55% during the pandemic. (See “Gaps in Food Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Massachusetts”) In response to this gap, Harvest on Vine doubled the amount of food we distribute. We also allowed families to get food twice month. (Pre-pandemic, our families came once a month.) The amount of fresh produce and fresh milk we give out has tripled.
According to the GBFB study, a major barrier to families getting the food they need is the stigma associated with poverty. We are aware of this stigma, and we continually address it. Our volunteers do an outstanding job welcoming our clients. They treat each person with dignity and respect. Another barrier is an administrative matter: checking clients in. Harvest on Vine makes it easy for clients to check in, some say too easy. We’d rather err on that side than the other. We have never turned anyone away.
The Charlestown community has been charitable to Harvest on Vine, and because of your largesse, we have the means to put forth a first-class operation. Every family we serve gets a week’s worth of food twice a month. If you would like to support what we are doing, we’d be most grateful. We also have a donate button on our website: stmarystcatherine.org.