Special to the Journal
Effective Wednesday April 5th, 2023, the First Congregational Church of Revere’s weekly Food Pantry Distribution will be relocating back to its original location at the First Congregational Church at 230 Beach Street. Both city and church staff are seeking dedicated volunteers to assist with food pantry operations during the transition and those interested in volunteering can sign up at www.revere.org/volunteer or call First Congregational Church at 781-284-4158. In efforts to gain interest for volunteers, the Revere Health and Human Services department is hosting a Day of Service for city employees to help make the transition from the Food Hub to the Church the last week of March 2023.
“When COVID-19 first broke out, our church was overwhelmed with the needs of the food insecure,” said Pastor Tim Bogertman. “The lines stretched from our church’s front door all the way down to the Revere High School parking lot! On top of that, we were concerned about the safety of our volunteers and their exposure to the virus. At that time, the City of Revere stepped in to help us. They relocated us to the temporary location of the Rumney Marsh Academy, and eventually we were moved to our current location at 200 Winthrop Ave. The Mayor’s staff and the City of Revere’s Community Health and Engagement Department partnered with us and provided staff support, financial aid, and other areas of need.”
While the Food Pantry has been operating out of 200 Winthrop Ave, a larger vision for the Food Hub and subsequent construction on the building has initiated the need to bring the Food Pantry Distribution back to its original location at the First Congregational Church.
The distribution will continue to occur on Wednesdays from 6:15 – 8:00pm. However, instead of a drive-thru operation, starting April 5th the Food Pantry will move to a walk-up distribution service. Clients of the Food pantry will be able to park in two parking lots close to First Congregational Church:
• Immaculate Conception’s parking lot (133 Beach Street)
• Central Avenue Municipal parking lot
It is very important for clients to park only in these two designated locations to ensure the safety of residents and volunteers and the continued ability for the Church to operate. It is also very important for clients to remember to only come during their assigned week that corresponds to the first letter of their last name. This system will continue to be in place after the change of location. If a client has any questions about what week they can attend, please contact the church office at 781-284-4158.
“As a church, we are grateful for the support that Mayor Arrigo and the city has shown us during the unprecedented times we faced during the heights of COVID,” said Pastor Tim Bogertman. “As the Food Pantry now returns to our church building, we are thankful that the city will continue to assist us. However, we are asking for your help. Volunteers are the backbone of our pantry, so we will need as much help as possible to make this transition a success. The number of clients that still need our help is very high. We will need help with loading and unloading pallets of food during the day, bagging food in the evening hours, and having assistance with the distribution and traffic control on Wednesday evenings. Please call our church office at 781-284-4158 if you can help, or if you need assistance. As always, we are deeply invested in the community, and look forward to helping Revere thrive.”
The City of Revere and the First Congregational Church are asking residents to sign-up to volunteer at www.revere.org/volunteer.