How to help feed unhoused neighbors during the pandemic

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How to help feed unhoused neighbors during the pandemic

Bag Lunch Project organized by First Congregational Church of Milton

The COVID-19 crisis has created an urgent need among the 260 individuals and 130 families at Father Bill’s & MainSpring homeless shelters in Quincy and Brockton. Milton residents are invited to help our unhoused neighbors by participating in the bagged lunch program organized by the First Congregational Church of Milton (FCC of Milton). You can help while staying socially distant and without going to the grocery store.

Over the past two weeks, FCC of Milton’s members have donated nearly 500 bagged lunches to the shelter. Following social distancing guidelines, members have collaborated to assemble and deliver the lunches. Bulk supplies are purchased with donated funds, and divided into “meal kits” with everything needed to make 60 lunches. Once volunteers receive the meal kits, they assemble the 60 bagged lunches and deliver them to the shelter. Young people have also gotten involved in the project by helping assemble the bags, and by crafting uplifting greeting cards that are included in the lunches.

Please help us meet our goal of bringing another 2,000 lunches to our unhoused neighbors.

The following are all ways you can help:

Donate funds for supplies

One hundred percent of your gift will be used to buy supplies for the Father Bill’s & MainSpring lunch project. We purchase bulk groceries and paper products at a restaurant warehouse to minimize costs and exposure. Donate online at fccmilton.org/give. Or, make checks payable to “First Congregational Church of Milton” and mail them to FCC of Milton, 495 Canton Ave, Milton, MA, 02186.

Donate unopened bottled water or juice (individual servings)

Purchase limits on bottled water make this part of the project challenging. You can help by dropping off cases of water and juice in the rear of the FCC of Milton, under the covered walkway.

Make Greeting Cards

We need hundreds of handmade cards with encouraging, uplifting messages to include in the lunches. Cards can be as simple as a brief, kind note (e.g. “You are loved!”) on decorative paper. A drop-off box is located in the rear of FCC of Milton, under the covered walkway.

Help assemble and deliver lunches

Pick up a meal kit (no contact) under the covered walkway at the rear of FCC of Milton on Tuesdays between 4 and 6 p.m. Assemble the 60 bag lunches at your home and deliver them (also no contact) to Father Bill’s & MainSpring shelter in Quincy or Brockton later that week between 10 and 11 a.m., or 1 and 3 p.m. If you can assemble the lunches, but cannot take them to the shelter, we will pick them up and deliver them. To request a meal kit, please contact Wendy Garpow at [email protected].

For more information about the FCC of Milton Brown Bag Lunch Project, please contact Betsy Disharoon, chair of the Board of Benevolence ([email protected]), or Reverend John Allen ([email protected]). For more information about Father Bill’s & MainSpring, visit helpfbms.org.

-Contributed by Wendy Garpow.

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