New Modern Choice Food Pantry in Lynn Advances Agency’s Vision to Address Hunger
This week, Catholic Charities Boston officially opened a regional modern choice pantry in Lynn, advancing the agency’s vision of creating a food security network to better serve those facing hunger in the community.
“Food insecurity is a reality for a growing number of families, and we’re seeing more and more working families who need help as the price of groceries continues to rise due to inflation,” said Kevin M. MacKenzie, President & CEO. “Catholic Charities is committed to make sure struggling individuals, families, and children have access to healthy food in a timely and compassionate manner.”
Located on the first floor of 8 Silsbee Street, the pantry is a key component of the Phoenix Food Hub, a community-wide collaboration among members of the City’s Food Security Task Force. In collaboration with the Phoenix Food Hub and Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS), the space will also offer a wide array of nutrition-related support and resources, including healthy cooking classes within a soon-to-be renovated kitchen, adjacent to the pantry, as well as dedicated staff available to assist with SNAP benefits and housing.
“Most school families here qualify for free or subsidized lunch programs,” said Cardinal Séan Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston, sharing that one in five residents of Lynn experience food insecurity, leading to a higher occurrence of chronic illnesses and numerous health complications. “We know that hunger profoundly affects children’s ability to learn and thrive and be successful. With the support of the Yawkey Foundation and our state and federal legislators, like Mayor Nicholson, today we are able to establish a response to these critical issues.”
According to the Greater Boston Food Bank, food insecurity doubled during the COVID pandemic, with household food insecurity in Massachusetts jumping from 8.2% before the pandemic to a height of 19.6% during the pandemic.
During its first year of operation, the Catholic Charities Lynn food pantry is expected to help feed about 10,400 people and provide 217,000 meals and 260,000 pounds of food to clients in the community, with the capacity to double those figures. Location and hours of operation may be found here.
“I am so grateful to Catholic Charities for delivering on our vision and being part of the effort in the city of Lynn to address hunger,” said Mayor Jared Nicholson. “There is a test kitchen, a food delivery system, programming space, nutritionists and dieticians, all coming together to solve the immediate needs and underlying causes of hunger, and thanks to Catholic Charities we have a tremendous food pantry.”