The Salem Pantry recently signed a lease with Prime Group Shetland Park which will enable us to significantly increase our ability to procure, store and distribute more food. This 2,400 sq ft food warehouse space will vastly expand Salem Pantry's storage capabilities for fresh produce, frozen meats, dairy and eggs. Additionally, the new space will allow for The Pantry to receive direct deliveries from Greater Boston Food Bank and to partner with other North Shore agencies looking for additional storage or delivery support.
Given the dramatic rise in need for food assistance since the onset of COVID-19, this project's timing is crucial. For the month of April, The Salem Pantry tripled our previous month's distribution to provide 62,500 pounds of food to 2,018 households. The Pantry is building our capacity to meet this moment and also working towards more sustainably supporting our Salem community for years to come. Our goal is to have the new dry storage and staging/packing area set up by the end of May, followed by the installation of a walk in cooler and small freezers in June (to be followed by a large walk in freezer later this year). Our staff and volunteers, led by Mark Gardner, have been instrumental to move this project forward. Please look out for more official updates on this Shetland Park project soon.
This first phase of expansion is funded through a Capacity Expansion Grant from the Greater Boston Food Bank and by a matching grant from Brace Cove Foundation. As the need for food security in our community continues to grow, please consider supporting The Salem Pantry's effort to grow our capacity at this time!