Serving Those Seeking Emergency Food Assistance

News & Events

Oakham Scouts Support Our Food Pantry

Oakham Scouts Support Our Food Pantry

More than a dozen Oakham cub scouts from Cub Scout Pack 144 (and one local girl scout from Troop 65008) delivered more than 40 bags and boxes of non-perishable food items to the Barre Food Pantry on Dec. 2. Cub Master Augie Fauteaux said the 40-member cub pack solicits the food items during the holiday season each year along with Boy Scouts of America scouting groups across the nation.

Flyers are distributed to homes in Oakham and Barre on November 13 and pick up arrangements are made during the weekend of November 19-21. The food items will be sorted and stored for the next Food Pantry distribution from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on December 16 at the Barre Congregational Church. Food Pantry President David Petrovick was on hand to greet the scouts and thank them for their donation.

All Hands On Deck

All Hands On Deck

Dear Friends,

We want to continue to fulfill our mission to get food to hungry and food insecure clients. But we must also protect them, ourselves and the larger community from a catastrophic spread of this novel COVID-19 to which no-one has immunity. Many of our clients and our volunteers are classified as high-risk due to their age and/or underlying health conditions.

In order to maintain safe physical distances between volunteers and between volunteers and clients, we will be operating a "drive-through” style distribution. Clients will line up in their vehicles on Park Street and proceed into the right hand (east) entrance driveway of the Barre Congregational Church.

They will remain in their cars. They'll drive up and be checked in by a volunteer, then drive up to where their groceries will be put into the trunk or wayback of their vehicles by volunteers. Based on the success of the March 19th distribution, we believe this “drive-through” style is the safest possible way for us to get food to clients and to help keep everyone well.

Usually the volunteers and clients are able to greet each other with a smile. With the guidance now being to wear masks in public, we encourage everyone to wear a mask of some kind. We hope you will still hear the smile in our voices.
(At the bottom of this email are links to simple but effective Mask ideas.)

PLEASE NOTE:
While we typically have had an “all hands on deck” approach to welcoming volunteers, this Wednesday we will once again be working with just a very small crew. We have been preparing for April 8, by only working in shifts at the pantry, in small family groups - people who live in the same household. 

Please do not arrive to volunteer without contacting me first. We sincerely appreciate all the volunteers who have stayed home - - we know this is not easy for you to do!

Thank you for your continued support of the Barre Food Pantry.

BARRE FOOD PANTRY WEATHER POLICY

BARRE FOOD PANTRY WEATHER POLICY

If, due to bad weather, school is canceled in the Quabbin Regional School District on a scheduled food pantry distribution day, distribution will be postponed until the following day. 

If school is called off for multiple days, distribution will take place on the first day the Quabbin District reopens.  

If, due to bad weather, school opening is delayed one or two hours, food pantry distribution will take place as usual.  

To check the status of the Quabbin Regional School District on a specific day, consult their website www.qrsd.org, the school sign in front of the Middle-High School, or WBZ, WCVB, WHDH, FOX 25, Channel 40, NECN, or WSRS.

We have been in touch with ElderBus about helping clients who live at Grandview Terrace who can pick up their own groceries but need transportation to do so. ElderBus clients sign up for their rides on the Monday of distribution week. The agency will pick up Grandview Terrace clients, bring them to the Food Pantry and wait for them to pick up their groceries. We will call the agency, pre-make bags for our clients to minimize the waiting time for the bus, help them shop and load their groceries onto the bus. We deliver food to those who are unable to leave their homes or who live in locations other than Grandview Terrace.

Ways you can help: Local Food Drives

Ways you can help: Local Food Drives

For more information, please visit www.barrefoodbank.org. For more information contact Sonja Blaney at (978) 355-6921. To make a donation or to plan a food drive please contact or to take advantage of pantry services or for other information about the pantry, contact Chuck Radlo at (978) 355-6463. Organize a food drive.

Food Pantry Adds a 2d Distribution Day

Food Pantry Adds a 2d Distribution Day

The Barre Food Pantry at the Congregational Church is adding a second monthly distribution of food to area residents. The additional distribution will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The first evening distribution was on April 18. .

The regular monthly food pantry distribution is held from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of each month at the church. That schedule will not change. David Petrovick, food pantry executive director, said the additional monthly distribution will offer more opportunities for area residents to use the Pantry. "Due to changes in the economy, client comments and input from other nearby food pantries, it became clear that our current single distribution in the morning was difficult for some to attend," Petrovick said. "We had been thinking about making more food available to more people for some time and our volunteers agreed to sign on to doubling the distribution."

Chuck Radlo, a long-time volunteer at the pantry, said, “Many of our clients are employed during the day but are still eligible for food assistance. This second scheduled distribution each month will allow those clients access to the full range of foods the Barre Food Pantry can provide.  Coordinating that time with the Barre Congregational Church's Free Community Friendship Supper, clients will have the opportunity to receive a warm meal in good company and to go home with groceries that will help meet their food needs during the month.”

 “We are more than grateful to our Barre Food Pantry volunteers for the additional time commitment needed to set up for this second distribution and for helping clients in the process of shopping their way through the available groceries. They saw the need and are stepping up to meet it.” Radlo said it will take some time to determine whether the added distribution will shift some residents to the new evening pickup session or reduce the number of home deliveries made each month. A second distribution each month will require more volunteer hours. If more residents are able to use the food pantry it could increase our monthly allotments from the Worcester Country Food Bank.

The Barre Food Pantry provides food assistance to more than 100 low-income residents and families in  Barre, Oakham, New Braintree and Wheelwright at the Barre Congregational Church on the town common. To learn more about distributions, dates and times and for more information about volunteering at the food pantry, go to www.barrefoodbank.org.

The food pantry welcomes volunteers of all ages and abilities and extends its thanks to its volunteers and community supporters.

Hannaford's of North Brookfield regularly donates meat, bread and pastry to the pantry.  Hannaford's  has a drop off for non perishable food/health and beauty products for the food pantry. The food pantry relies on donations of non-perishable food from the community and buys additional food from the Worcester County Food Bank in Shrewsbury.  

Other local drop-off locations include the Barre Family Health Center (reception desk); the Barre Senior Center on South Barre Road; Woods Memorial Library; St. Joseph's Church and the South Barre Rod & Gun Club. The gun club is now a permanent collection site for the Barre Food Pantry. The club  is currently collecting cleaning products, health and beauty products, laundry supplies, infant products and non-perishable food items.  Your local church may also collect items for the food pantry after weekly services. Please ask at your church.
Barre Lions Support the Food Pantry

Barre Lions Support the Food Pantry

From left: Lion Michelle Biron, David Petrovick, Food Pantry executive director, and Lions Joe Petracone, Sal Imperato and Tim Mara.

The Food Pantry collects food from local donors, area markets and the Worcester County Food Bank. Volunteers serve more than 100 area families with a twice-monthly distribution at the Barre Congregational Church and with emergency deliveries during the month. 

Donations of non-perishable food are accepted at the Barre Family Health Center (reception desk), the  Barre Senior Center on South Barre Road, the Woods Memorial Library, at St. Joseph's Church and at The South Barre Rod & Gun Club. For information call Sonja Blaney at (978) 355-6921. For emergency assistance or answers to other questions call Chuck Radlo at (978) 355-6463.