Food in Solidarity for All – Who We Serve: It’s a Matter of Racial Justice
Food in Solidarity for All – Who We Serve: It’s a Matter of Racial Justice The public we serve, and the beneficiaries of your funding support, are immigrant families of color.
Our “Food for All in Solidarity” Wednesday weekly food pantry serves a wide Boston public drawn from immigrant and other communities impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the resulting unemployment and economic dislocations that have affected so many.
It is the end of January and our program is entering its 46th week, having served 80,000 individuals over its course. Our food recipients are almost all people of color: they are the normally economically insecure populations in Greater Boston whose jobs in low-wage service sectors have evaporated in our recent economic slowdowns.
These people of color are the populations who have not only been the most impacted by COVID-19 related unemployment, but also those with the highest rates of infections and illness within their families and communities. All this is due to historic exclusions they were already subject to even prior to the Pandemic, which has only exacerbated these disadvantages.
Most of the people who have been coming by our food pantry each week since the beginning of April 2020 are from within walking distance, and they stand in long lines on the street stretching a half mile or more, easily for two hours. They come mostly from our own immigrant-rich Allston-Brighton neighborhood, including Spanish-speaking Latinos, Asians (principally Chinese and Koreans), and Brazilians, as well as American seniors from nearby elderly low-income housing. They are men and women, of all ages, and 35% are children.
All in all, 80% are from Boston, the rest being from nearby communities in immigrant-heavy towns such as Somerville, Everett, and Malden. They come from those places to Allston to receive food at a friendly site, where both Portuguese and Spanish are spoken.
Numbers: Each week we give a week’s supply of food to 450-500 families, usually including 1700 - 1900 people, 35% of whom – as noted – are children, a fair number of whom accompany their parents on our food lines. In summary, our program benefits a mix of Boston residents – for the most part immigrants of color, of all ages, including many children; both women and men; and a modest number of low-income seniors.
Here is a short video of the activity at our weekly food pantry: https://www.facebook.com/BrazilianWC/videos/713900672587021