Northborough Community Meals facing a difficult financial situation

Volunteers were busy preparing meals for the community meal distribution. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – Community Meals needs your help.

A long-running program providing free meals and social connections to members of the Northborough community, organizers believe they will run out of funds in June without additional support.

“We’re running out of money,” organizer Vicki Killeen told the Community Advocate in April.

She noted that the team writes grant applications and receives donations from community members.

“It’s a wonderful town of Northborough. So we get some,” she continued. “We’re just waiting for the day when we can’t do that anymore.”

That, she added, “will be sad.”

Organizers pivot during COVID-19

Communal meals have been served at the city’s Trinity Church for years. People from different churches and civic organizations in the community took turns preparing and serving the meal.

“Then COVID hit and it all stopped,” said fellow organizer Martha Michalewich.

Killeen is one of the directors of the Northborough Food Pantry. She heard that people were missing community meals.

So organizers decided that while they couldn’t offer residents the scholarship as part of a pandemic-era community meal program, they could at least try to ease the burden on guests. to have to prepare another meal.

They contacted local restaurants and asked if they could make a packaged meal for $5.

Volunteers then provide participants with water and a dessert and seasonal fruit are donated by Davidian’s Farm Market.

Organizers have turned to offering curbside dining in June 2020providing meals every Wednesday since.

“It’s a hot meal and a friendly face”

Last year, the organizers sounded the alarm that they were going to run out of funds by the end of March. They were able to get enough money to continue providing the service so far.

“The community is very, very generous,” Michalewich said. “People periodically made donations.”

As the program progresses, demand remains, with recent weeks seeing organizers handing out between 125 and 130 meals.

“It’s a hot meal and a friendly face,” Michalewich said.

She added that the costs continue, however, with a set of 125 meals costing around $600.

how to help

Organizers welcome donations to support community meals. These can be done by Northborough Helping Hands by sending a check to Northborough Helping Hands at PO Box 383, Northborough, MA 01532. Checks should include “Community Meals” in the memo.

Donations can also be made online at https://www.northboroughhelpinghands.org/donations.html.

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