September is Hunger Action Month and whether you are facing food insecurity and are in need of support or you are looking to help alleviate hunger in our area, there are many resources that can help.
Open Table works to provide “ healthy food in ways that respect the dignity and diversity of those served.” As an organization they are committed to continuing to work towards equity within their programs and hiring processes. They have locations in both Concord and Maynard. Their website (which is linked in the above heading) also has a number of resources for people who could use their resources and/or who are looking for ways to help. You can click on this link to learn about how to sign up, select the food and pick it up. If you are interested in activities or ways that you or your group could donate, this link has a number of ideas. If you are not ready to commit to a large donation activity this link has suggestions for other ways to help. Open Table is also partnering with Ride for Food this year which is another way to be involved.
This is the 12th year for the Ride for Food event. It takes place on October 1 in Dedham..There are many ways to participate. You can register for the bike ride, run/walk in the 5k that the same day. There is also the option to participate virtually.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides food and financial help to those who live, work or go to school in Lincoln or Weston. Last year alone, they served 388 neighbors. This page explains how to access their food pantry and financial support. There are also several ways that you can support the work that they do to help our fellow community members. You can donate funding or food items. This page lists the current food that they are most in need of as well as where you can drop things off. You can run a larger food drive–like LincFam recently did–or pick up some extra items while shopping at Donelan’s and put them in the donation bin on your way out of the store. You can also volunteer your time to helping in a hand-on way.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is a government program which provides monthly financial assistance for purchasing food. People who are enrolled receive an EBT card that you can use just like a debit card when shopping for food. Project Bread knows that government programs can sometimes be confusing to navigate so they have set up a call line for Massachusetts residents to use. You can call and one of their counselor’s will help you to know if you are eligible or not. If you are, they will assist you in applying for benefits. The number is 1-800-645-8333. There is also A LOT of information, as well as a chat feature, on their website.
You can also go directly to the SNAP website which has all of the information about the program, who is eligible, and how to apply as well.
SNAP is now allowing people to use their SNAP benefits at participating farmer’s markets and community farms. Essentially, they reimburse $1 for every $1 spent onto your EBT card up to a certain amount based on the number of people in your household. The information is in the link on the heading of this section. There are a number of local farms that participate. You can find them at this site where you can search by town in Massachusetts. Lincoln’s own Codman Community Farm Stand is now participating so you can shop farm fresh foods right here in town using your SNAP benefits.
Folks can reach out to the Lincoln Council on Aging & Human Services (COA&HS) for help registering for services like WIC and SNAP.