St. Anthony’s Parish Food Pantry

St Anthony Parish Food Pantry

Harvard University awarded St. Anthony’s Parish Food Pantry funds through the Harvard University Allston-Brighton Emergency Response Grant Program to support their efforts in supporting the community.

Located in Allston, just around the corner from the Harvard Business School Campus, the parish of St. Anthony’s Church looks like the neighborhood in which it exits. Members of the church vary. Some have been in the neighborhood for generations. Others are immigrant families from the Brazilian community new to the neighborhood, many of whom, according to Father Bob Carr, bring a great deal of energy to the church.

As St. Anthony’s chief administrator, Father Carr can often be found behind the scenes making sure church operations run smoothly, and he relies on parishioners such as Eunice Brandão to volunteer their time to help their fellow parishioners.

“Eunice came to me and said there was a great need [to start a food pantry],” said Father Bob Carr. “And as the administrator I’m very happy to say let’s do it and figure out what we can do to help.”

He noted that Brandão and her team of volunteers are not simply the driving force behind getting the pantry up and running but are also responsible for making sure it follows safety guidelines imposed by the city and state.

Each week, Brandão and other volunteers shop for groceries and spend Saturday mornings putting together baskets of food and essential supplies such as toilet tissue, toothpaste, and other items for nearly 250 people each week. Funds from the Harvard University Allston-Brighton Emergency Response Grant Program went directly to fund pantry supplies and operations.

“In the beginning the idea was to help the families in our church,” Brandão said. “But other people started to come, and we could not just turn them down. So now we [are serving] people from our church, but also people from other parts of Boston.” She notes that the church tries to buy food that the Brazilian community typically eats, which has increased interest in their services.

Most people find a time convenient for them to pick up supplies from St. Anthony’s, but delivery is available for those who cannot safely leave their homes.

St. Anthony’s notes they have seen a steady need for food and essential items and intends to continue serving members of their community and those who need a helping hand though the pantry as long as there is a need.

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