Sudbury Food Pantry in the time of COVID

At the Sudbury Food Pantry, a small team of dedicated adults works each week on Tuesday and Thursday to distribute groceries to approximately 50 hungry families. Beginning in late May, the pantry saw a sharp uptick in attendance when it began to distribute fresh spring produce from Gaining Ground. Wide-eyed families saw the gorgeous heads of lettuce and smiled. They did happy dances for the sugar snap peas, the cilantro, and the cabbage. Most recently, they also received Swiss chard, beets, summer squash, onions, tomatoes, basil, and perfectly shaped cucumbers.

Gaining Ground plays a huge part in this effort. When I arrive each week with 15 to 20 banana boxes of produce packed into my trusty Honda, volunteer fresh-food coordinator Aiko greets me, and we begin the enjoyable challenge of apportioning the produce into 30 grocery bags for the families who will come that day, then setting aside the rest for Thursday’s participants. A family rolls down their window to thank us. One father tells us that the quality of the food shows such respect for their humanity, and that his children will try the new kinds of produce knowing it was grown with love. Gaining Ground’s mission is brilliantly lived out each week at the Sudbury Food Pantry.