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Nourish Our Neighbors

There are many ways to help our neighbors struggling with food insecurity access culturally-relevant, healthy, and fresh foods, during the holidays and beyond.

Working toward food justice means seeing food access as more than just taking in calories or being close to a grocery store. With food justice, people have access to fresh, healthy, affordable, culturally-relevant foods that they actually want to eat. Ensuring this access during periods of food insecurity is an important part of building an equitable, just, and resilient food system in the City of Boston. We collaborate with partners across the City to meet the diverse food needs of our residents - and you can help.

Addressing food insecurity in your community


Food pantries are part of a complex emergency food system. They work directly with their clients, learning about the foods that neighbors want. If you’d like to contribute to a pantry, look into what they need. You may find that while shelf-stable goods (like canned foods) can be helpful, many residents want more fresh produce; other perishable foods like meat, dairy and eggs; and more culturally-relevant staples. You could host a #GiveHealthy food drive to contribute food to the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), which supplies food to local pantries (register here).


Alongside food pantries, many other organizations in the City respond to community food access needs. There are many steps between getting food and getting it to people who need it. Our partners often need volunteers to help with tasks like picking up, sorting, packaging, and delivering food to homebound residents. 

In many cases, supporting a local food pantry, food distribution site, or other community food access initiative with your time may be the most impactful thing you can do. 


Sourcing fresh and healthy foods can be costly, especially when trying to provide that food at low or no cost to residents without stable food access. Many of our partners coordinate the rescue of perfectly good food that will not be sold for various reasons. They prevent it from being wasted and ensure it gets to people who want it. These groups are helping to both decrease the carbon footprint from food entering landfills or being incinerated, while ensuring that more fresh, healthy (frequently perishable) food is available to those in our communities facing food insecurity. They need a lot of help with picking up and delivering these foods to rescue them in time and make sure they stay cold.


Rescuing, sourcing, and distributing food are not the only steps to increasing food access. Partners are building and strengthening the community response to food insecurity and to building a more equitable food system in Boston. They need support to build a response that goes beyond the next day, week, or month. 

Below are volunteer opportunities with local organizations that you could support. We encourage you to engage with these groups not just during the holiday season, but year-round.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities

Many of our partners are looking for volunteers to help receive, sort, pack, and deliver groceries. Also, if you have access to a vehicle, delivering groceries to homebound residents can help bridge huge food access gaps.

Help our partners save perfectly good food that would have otherwise been wasted and bring it to people who want it.

Urban agriculture is a powerful way for communities to grow what they want to eat in their own neighborhoods.

Creative alternative food markets have emerged in Boston in places where there isn’t access to affordable produce. Help these groups bring good food to these neighborhoods.

There’s a lot of work that goes into successfully running a food access program. See some of the various other ways that our partners need help, and where your skills may come in handy!

These volunteer opportunities were collected from a survey completed by Office of Food Justice (OFJ) partners. If you have an opportunity that you would like to add, fill out this form.

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