Watertown Food Pantry Receives More Than $202K in Contributions in December

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The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

The Watertown Department of Senior Services is absolutely thrilled to announce the incredible contributions received in December 2023!

We are overjoyed to have awarded a substantial $152,000 American Rescue Plan (ARPA) grant from the Watertown City Council, as well as an additional grant of $20,000 from the Friends of the Council on Aging, secured in partnership with the Director of the Senior Services after partnering for a grant application from the Cambridge Savings Bank.

The excitement doesn’t stop there! We also want to extend our heartfelt thanks for the $30,000 in donations from local businesses, churches, and residents. These remarkable contributions have resulted in a staggering 52 percent increase to our operational budget’s bottom line – an enormous impact within just one month!

The Watertown City Council awarded the food pantry a generous ARPA grant of $152,000, after a highly competitive process that involved careful review of 32 applications from various city departments, community organizations, and individuals. The council gave the food pantry proposal the highest-grade ranking of all proposals received by the city. The grant is designated to facilitate the relocation of the current food pantry from the basement of the Methodist Church on 80 Mount Auburn St. to the Parker School.

The support of the City Council, who overwhelmingly endorsed the relocation proposal, reflects a shared commitment to staying ahead of the curve in meeting the nutritional needs of our community. By addressing the vital need for food and nutrition access, we are not only improving the quality of life for individuals, but also fostering a stronger, more resilient community.

The new location made possible by this grant will allow us to increase the number of days and hours of service, providing a healthier and more welcoming environment for our food programming. This expansion will also facilitate the development of new partnerships, enabling us to broaden the scope and impact of our food-related initiatives.

Together we are providing a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals and families facing food insecurity. With limited resources for those who are ineligible for programs like SNAP, this funding will empower us to grow and extend our current services, which are currently limited. With rising food costs and limited public funding for food assistance programs like SNAP, the need for food security and accessibility has never been more critical.

The relocation to the Parker School will enable us to meet this growing need head-on, ensuring that our senior community has reliable access to essential resources.

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the City Council, the Friends of the Council on Aging, the Cambridge Savings Bank, community donors and Food Pantry volunteers for their unwavering dedication throughout the year. Their enthusiasm and active involvement have truly been the driving force behind the positive impact we have been able to achieve. As we embark on a new year, we remain steadfast in our commitment to serving and empowering our senior community, and we look forward to continuing our impactful work with the invaluable support of our community partners” said Director of Senior Services, Lydia McCoy.

See the Watertown Food Pantry Community Impact Report 2024 at: https://portal.laserfiche.com/Portal/DocView.aspx?id=85750&repo=r-5ece5628

5 thoughts on “Watertown Food Pantry Receives More Than $202K in Contributions in December

  1. Charlie,
    I don’t understand why many articles say “Guest Writer.” I would appreciate it if you would publish the names of the guest writers at the top of the articles. This allows me and other folks to follow up if they have questions, concerns, or want to get involved with an issue. How does this policy of anonymity serve our community? Can you explain your policy? Perhaps I’m missing something. Thank you for considering my request.

    • Hi Elodia,
      I use Guest writer because the system requires an author, and I don’t want it to look like it is written by me. I put the name of the group that submits a piece. In this case it was from the City of Watertown. If they specify an author I will put it at the top of the story, such as with letters. Let me know if you have other questions.

      • I got an anonymous comment saying “Its funny to both demand comments be attributed by name and email AND use “guest writer” anonymity to avoid questions over your reporting or the opinions of your news outlet.”

        The reason for the comments required to be named is that there has been an evolving comment policy because readers generally agreed (as did I) that people should know who is making a comment, partly because anonymous commenters were getting out of hand and making comments they wouldn’t stand behind by signing their name. I will note that this is not a unanimous opinion.

        Now, as for guest writer, that is essentially a placeholder, and I would have it blank if I could but since the system requires it, I wanted to make sure it is not a piece I wrote. That is both because it may not be the way I would write something, but also I don’t want to take credit for things I don’t write.

        These also tend to be press releases, which is why I note the organization it comes from. While it does not name the individual author (or authors in some cases, I’m sure) it shows where the piece comes from. If you have a question about an individual announcement, I can look into it, but to do so for every press release would be time consuming and delay getting the information out there.

        If you have a suggestion for another way to mark it, besides guest writer, please send them over. Also note it will say “by XXX XXX.” So I think it would be strange to say something like by Press Release.

        • Thanks for your response, Charlie. I understand that professionally you want to differentiate your articles from guest writers. You don’t publish articles or comments from anonymous people. I applaud your policy.

          I believe the “City “ ought to be held to the same standard. Someone in a department has written and is submitting the article. Why the mystery on the part of the city?

          I certainly don’t expect you to have to track down this info.

  2. Congratulations to the Watertown Food Pantry! This is impressive — you are leveraging your commitment and skills to take this service and sharing to a whole new level. Good for you … for your patrons … and for the entire Watertown community.

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