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Dorchester House awarded $12,500 to support food pantry operations

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The Dorchester House Multi-Service Center was recently awarded $12,500 in grants from Partners HealthCare and Project Bread to support its food pantry operations and food security in the community. Dorchester House works to provide support to local individuals and families by providing food resource services.

“These generous grants from Partners HealthCare and Project Bread enable us to continue our goal of providing services to individuals who are facing hardships in the community,” said Dorchester House President and CEO Walter Ramos.

With the grants, Dorchester House will be able to help alleviate hunger in its patient population through two major strategies.

Partners’ donation will support a voucher program for the health center’s food pantry clients. In the summer of 2015, vouchers in the amount of $10 will be distributed to each food pantry client family to be redeemed at the Dorchester House Farmers’ Market.

This will facilitate access to fresh produce and fish, as well as supporting local farmers that provide the goods that are sold at the weekly market.

The Dorchester House farmers’ market, though small and only open 2 hours per week over 14 weeks, reported one of the highest numbers of SNAP/EBT sales in the city. On average, our farmers’ market provides 50 types of fish and produce to 100 customers per day.

In addition, Project Bread has awarded funding to support their food pantry operations. Dorchester House’s food pantry has been operating for over 20 years and services 1,400-1,500 individuals a month. In 2013, the Dorchester House Food Pantry distributed almost 255,000 pounds of food to clients living in Dorchester.

The Project Bread grant will also support the health center’s case managers in helping patients apply for SNAP (food stamp) benefits and connecting patients to food resources while awaiting benefits to commence.

“The goal of Dorchester House’s hunger prevention activities is to screen all patients for food security and then develop an action plan with patients that directly connect them to the appropriate resources,” explained Michelle Nadow, chief administrative officer at Dorchester House.