City of Cambridge Partnership with Local Restaurants Provides Over 70,000 Meals to Homeless Residents

The City of Cambridge announced today that it is extending its successful program for feeding homeless residents with meals provided by local food establishments through December 31, 2020. In March, the City launched an innovative project to contract with local restaurants to provide food to the City’s homeless community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. To date, over 70,000 meals have been provided and more than 2,800 meals are now being delivered each week to shelters across the City.

“I’d like to thank all of the local restaurants that have been working to provide fresh meals to the most vulnerable in our community,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “I am extremely proud of this partnership, and think it’s a great example of local government supporting and engaging local businesses to fill a critical need in our community.”

To date the City of Cambridge has spent nearly $500,000 on meals provided by local Cambridge restaurants.

“I am proud that the City will continue partnering with local restaurants to provide meals to our unhoused residents,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. As we move into the colder months of the year, and with the giving season upon us, the simple act of providing a warm meal for our unhoused residents perfectly illustrates the way the Cambridge community shows up for each other in a time of need. I am so thankful to our amazing local restaurants for stepping up during this time and partnering with the City to provide meals for our unhoused residents.”

Fifty Cambridge restaurants have participated in this program where meals are delivered to 16 shelters and programs that the City’s Department of Human Service Programs has identified as having a strong need for meals. Among the programs distributing meals through this program is Loaves and Fishes.

“Knowing we have access to these meals through the end of the year will allow us to continue other vital programs such as our holiday winter care package – a program where we provide a gift bag of hats, gloves, and other items to keep you warm,” said Young Bae Kim of the Loaves and Fishes meals program in Cambridge.

Restaurants interested in participating in this initiative should contact the City of Cambridge Purchasing Department at purchasing@cambridgema.gov.

“Since March our small businesses have been hurting. The homeless shelters meals program has been a lifeline to our local restaurants and an opportunity for them to help some of our most vulnerable here in Central Square,” said Michael Monestime, Executive Director of the Central Square Business Improvement District.”

“Our restaurants truly appreciate the business and also welcome the opportunity to help those in need in Harvard Square,” said Denise Jillson, Executive Director of the Harvard Square Business Association. “Extending this program brings hope and a bit of happiness to our community during these challenging times.”

For more information and updates on COVID-19, please visit the city’s dedicated information page: Cambridgema.gov/covid19.

Page was posted on 9/21/2020 5:56 PM
Page was last modified on 9/25/2020 9:42 AM
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