Hockomock Area YMCA responds with food collection and distribution

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Scott Martin, Bernon Family Branch executive director at Wednesday's food distribution. Courtesy photo
Marykate Bergen, Director of Health Innovation at Wednesday’s food distribution. Courtesy photo

The Y served over 5,700 meals in the first weeks of responding to the Coronavirus health crisis, and will continue to be on the front lines preventing hunger to the most vulnerable – our children. As the community need continues to grow, the Hockomock Area YMCA has announced that family-sized bags of food will be available for drive-up distribution on Wednesdays from 1-2PM and 5-6PM at the YMCAs located in Foxboro, Franklin and North Attleboro. No registration is required.

Last week, at these locations (67 Mechanic Street Foxboro; 45 Forge Hill Road Franklin; and 300 Elmwood Street North Attleboro) the effort resulted in the distribution of 259 bags of much appreciated food for local families in need.

In partnership and collaboration with school nutrition and many other community partners, the Hockomock Y is also providing grab and go meals Monday through Friday in North Attleboro at the Community School and in Milford at the Memorial Elementary School. “To date, we have provided 5,729 meals,” says Ed Hurley, president of the Hockomock Area YMCA.

It is with heartfelt gratitude that the Hockomock Area YMCA acknowledges and thanks all of our community partners and Y members, friends and donors for their extraordinary generosity during this time of need,” continues Hurley.

For anyone interested in helping out, the Y has located collection bins for non-perishable food donations at the above sites, which are available seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The response from Y members and our community has been heartwarming. But the demand will continue to grow in the coming days and weeks. Suggested donations include the following food items: oatmeal cups/packets, macaroni & cheese boxes/cups, granola bars (nut free whole grain preferred), applesauce or mandarin orange cups (no added sugar), whole grain crackers, tuna pouches in water (low sodium), Progresso chicken soup (low sodium), rice boxes/cups, Barilla Ready Pasta and pasta boxes.

Needless to say, these are challenging times that none of us could have predicted just a few short weeks ago. Despite the social distancing that is required these days, let us not miss the opportunity to benefit from social connection. Technology and social media offer great opportunities to still stay connected. But let’s also pick up our phones to check on our friends and loved ones more—which is something the YMCA is doing for its senior members: calling to check on them.

As our YMCA has always done, we will face these challenges head on and continue to do whatever we can to meet the incredible community need that exists all around us,” says Hurley. “We encourage those who are able to provide contributions of non-perishable foods to do so at any of our Hockomock Area YMCA branches.”

If you are interested in providing monetary donations, please contact Katie Moore at katiem@hockymca.org or 508-643-5265. Thank you to these leadership donors who have joined our philanthropic efforts: CVS Health, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Dave and Anne Doran, Tom and Trish Gruppioni, Stop & Shop, The Captain Kyle R. Van De Giesen Memorial Award Fund, and anonymous donors.

For more information, please visit: hockymca.org.