Westborough Food Pantry sees increased demand

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Westborough Food Pantry sees increased demand
A car passes in front of Westborough Town Hall in December. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH – In 1986, a group of volunteers began distributing bags of groceries to the less fortunate – mostly single people and couples.

Much has changed over the past four decades for the Westborough Food Pantry, but not its mission – to provide food and personal care products to those who need it.

Members of the food pantry’s board of directors came before the Select Board on July 11 to provide an update on what’s being offered.

Working out of the Forbes Community House on East Main Street, the pantry has provided groceries and other items to more than 190 families over the past year.

“It’s a service that’s sorely needed,” said Select Board Chair Sean Keogh.

According to Phil Kittredge, who recently stepped down as the food pantry’s president, the families being served include 157 children and 231 adults. He also said the pantry served 110 seniors, which was a marked increase in that category.

He added that 331,000 pounds of food were distributed last year, including canned and packaged goods, as well as fresh produce, meat, eggs and bread.

In addition, the food pantry distributes gift cards to local farms, along with vouchers for local businesses such as Uhlman’s Ice Cream and Sabatini’s. It also delivers bags of groceries to seniors unable to visit the pantry.

Kittredge credited a “group of great volunteers” and generous donors such as Stop & Shop for helping the pantry keep up with demand.

The pantry recently received a $20,000 donation from the Mr. WHS fundraising pageant. It also received financial proceeds from state Rep. Hannah Kane’s (R-Shrewsbury) annual golf tournament, as well as food from Westborough Public Schools, the post office, Scout groups and other organizations.

“It’s an important piece of this town,” said Select Board member Ian Johnson.

Those wishing to donate goods, but can’t get to the food pantry, may drop them off at the fire station, Stop & Shop and Roche Bros. For information on the food pantry, including how to donate, volunteer or access its services, visit https://westboroughfoodpantry.org/.

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