Food Assistance

Food Pantry & Meal Program Information

The Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) has released guidance for food pantry managers on How to Safely Operate a Food Pantry During COVID-19.

Cambridge in Motion, coordinated by the Cambridge Public Health Department, is maintaining the most up to date information about food pantry and meal program operations in Cambridge. Click here to view.

 

Cambridge Community Food Line Update

As Cambridge follows the state’s reopening guidelines, many local food pantries will resume operation by July 1, 2020. In anticipation of this, the City and Food for Free will merge the Cambridge Community Food Line with Food for Free’s Home Delivery Program. This merge will ensure that Cambridge’s most vulnerable residents have access to a long-term, sustainable food delivery system.

The program transition will occur during the month of June, with final Community Food Line deliveries the week of June 22nd, and the first week of Food for Free’s Home Delivery Program beginning the week of June 29th. All current participants in the Community Food Line have been contacted about their food assistance options.

Cambridge residents who are over 60, immunocompromised, or have a disability and do not have a friend or relative that can go to a food pantry on their behalf, should call 617-349-9155 by Monday, June 8th to apply for Food for Free’s Home Delivery Program. For more information, click here.

 

Senior Food Resources

If you are concerned about a senior’s access to food, please call the Council on Aging’s main line at 617-349-6220.

For seniors who are able to travel to grocery stores, special shopping hours are detailed below.

 

Special Grocery Store Hours

The Mayor, the City Council and the City Manager want to ensure our senior citizens have as much information as possible as we navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

It is incredibly important that residents over the age of 60, especially those with underlying health conditions, practice thorough personal hygiene and safe social distancing.

We also understand you will need to leave the house to obtain groceries and other items.

As of March 23, grocery stores in Massachusetts are now required to provide alternative hours for people over 60 in order to limit their potential exposure to COVID 19. This information must be posted and enforced. Many groceries stores also offer online ordering and/or curbside pickup for customers. Please visit their websites to learn more about what they offer.

Here is the most recent information we have on what local grocery store chains are doing to create specific shopping windows for people over 60:

  • Broadway Marketplace, 468 Broadway, is offering senior shopping hours 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Monday-Saturday. They are also offering curbside pickup of grocery items.
    • For curbside pickup: Seniors need to e-mail their order to george@broadwaymarketplace.com. Please include contact information. They will call for a payment method and schedule pick up. When at the curb, call 617-547-2335 and they’ll load your order into your vehicle.
  • Brothers Market, 1 Broadway, is dedicating 7:00-8:00 a.m. every day as a shopping hour for senior citizens and people with disabilities.
  • Market Basket, 400 Somerville Ave., Somerville will open exclusively for people over 60 every day from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.
  • Pemberton Farms, 2225 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge will offer daily hours from 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. for customers ages 60 and over. They can also pull and deliver grocery for nearby customers. If interested, please email Denna at denna@pembertonfarms.com. Delivery fee is determined based on location. 
  • Stop & Shop, which has locations on McGrath Highway and Alewife Brook Parkway, will open exclusively for people over 60 and anyone with a weakened immune system each day from 6:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
  • Star Market, which has locations in Porter Square, on Beacon Street, on Mt. Auburn St., and on McGrath Highway, will open on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.mfor senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems.
  • Trader Joe's, which has locations at 211 Alewife Brook Parkway and 748 Memorial Drive, will open every day from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. to anyone 60 or over and customers who with disabilities or who are immunocompromised.
  • Whole Foods, which has three locations in Cambridge, will open for people over 60 one hour before it opens to the general public. The River Street location near Cambridge Port will open for seniors at 8:00 a.m. The Prospect Street location near Central Square will open for seniors at 7:00 a.m. The Fresh Pond location will open for seniors at 8:00 a.m.

 We encourage you to do any necessary grocery shopping during these windows and/or reach out to stores directly to find out about their online ordering and curbside pickup options.

As a reminder, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, City of Cambridge Senior Centers and Council on Aging are closed until further notice. General questions can be directed to the Council on Aging’s main line: 617-349-6220.

 

Summer Food Program

The Cambridge Summer Food Program aims to increase food security in Cambridge by providing free and nutritionally balanced breakfasts and lunches to anyone 18 years of age and under. During Summer 2020, the program will provide a variety of healthy and tasty meals (in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options) for young people in Cambridge.

Monday, June 22 through Friday, September 4, free bagged breakfasts and lunches will be served Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Alewife
    35 Cambridge Park Drive
  • Fletcher-Maynard Academy
    225 Windsor Street
  • Haggerty School
    110 Cushing St.
  • King Open School
    840 Cambridge St.
  • Morse School
    40 Granite St.
  • Peabody School
    70 Rindge Ave.
  • Putnam Ave. Upper School
    100 Putnam Ave.
  • Rindge Towers
    362 Rindge Ave.
During meal distribution, staff will adhere to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines by wearing face coverings and gloves, sanitizing surfaces, and enforcing social distancing between staff and youth.

Plans to provide dinner meals during Summer 2020 are also in development. Details will be included on this webpage when available.

For more information, please contact SummerFood@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6247 

 

Homeless Outreach & Support

With many shelter programs short staffed and no longer having the capacity to prepare meals on site, the city is in the preliminary stages of contracting with local restaurants in Central and Harvard Square to provide bag or boxed meals for lunch and for dinner to be delivered to the specified shelters and programs that have indicated a strong need for the meals. If restaurants are interested in participating in this program in the future, they should contact the Purchasing Department at purchasing@cambridgema.gov. For more, see this announcement.

Page was posted on 3/18/2020 6:52 PM
Page was last modified on 6/17/2020 4:20 PM
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