Nourishing Needham food assistance program to launch
Thanks to an anonymous donor a meals assistance program that has been running in Newton and Wellesley is expanding to Needham.
The program purchases meals from local independent restaurants who’ve been impacted by the economic shut-down and deliver them to residents facing food insecurity.
The program has been running in Newton and Wellesley for several weeks thanks to a state grant. A similar program is running in Brookline.
And now, thanks to an anonymous $15,000 donation, it will be running in Needham in partnership with the Needham Council on Aging.
Every dollar will go directly to support independent, full-service restaurants located in Needham, many of whom have seen declines in volume more than 75 percent even while adapting to takeout, outdoor dining and other models while restrictions remain in place.
“While it will be a long road to recovery for our restaurants due to the pandemic losses, we appreciate those who contribute to help us survive and thrive,” said Jay Spencer, owner of French Press Bakery, a vice chair on the chamber’s board of directors and chair of the chamber’s Newton-Needham Dining Collaborative.
“Thanks to this generous contribution, these restaurants will be able to do what they do best, serve high quality food to their customers and those in need,” Spencer added.
"The gift will provide over 1,000 healthy meals to Needham seniors through the spring," said LaTanya Steele, Director of Aging Services, Needham Council on Aging. "It’s just one of many services the council has been providing this year."
"This is an exciting and amazing program to support the local community restaurants and provide delicious meals for seniors. During COVID, the Center at the Heights Team and volunteers have focused on food accessibility,” said Steele.
“This program provides an opportunity for us to continue our efforts and making sure seniors have food. We are so thankful to the donor and the chamber," she added.
Meal deliveries are expected to begin early April. Full-service restaurants in Needham that would like to apply to participate may find more information and an application form here. Deadline to apply is April 1.
Residents can support the program (and celebrate some of the wonderful businesses in town) by registering for the chamber’s Annual Needham Night happening virtually on April 7. Every $20 donation will support the purchase of one additional restaurant-quality meal.