The coronavirus outbreak and its economic fallouts have affected our neighborhood community significantly: The rate of infection is among the highest consider all of Boston neighborhoods, as is the number of confirmed cases. Within the working class immigrant majority, people have either been put at risk as essential workers who have no choice but to travel and work, or deprived of wages as non-essential. This has led to exasperated level of food, health, and housing insecurities.
Learn how Eastie Farm is responding
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Eastie Farm is responding in two ways:
- Increasing our food rescue and distribution; flower donation
- Supported by Boston Resiliency Fund, we brought over 5000 hot meals a week for 2 months during the height of the crisis to families experiencing acute food insecurity exacerbated by COVID-caused shutdown and loss of income. This included the month of Ramadan so we made sure we provided Halal food to Muslim families (There is a sizable North African immigrant community in our neighborhood). We appreciate the hard work that Bon Me and Tawakal Halal Cafe did to work hard during challenging restrictions to make the food safely and deliver to Eastie Farm. Eastie Farm delivered the food to doorsteps to avoid the risk of virus transmission.
- In our pursuit of zero-waste, we have been, even before the coronavirus outbreak, locating excess food (in restaurants and commercial kitchens) and bringing it to hungry families in East Boston via the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen or Crossroads Family Shelter or directly to families’ doorsteps. We have now increased that effort. Last week, in one day alone, we distributed more than 1000 pounds of protein in East Boston, by rescuing excess food from Bon Me restaurant. And the transportation was supported by funds from the Grassroots Fund.
- This week, we are serving 60 meals a day to families not being covered by any of the other services. This work is supported by Mothers Out Front.
- We distributed 30 boxes of fresh produce and 30 bags of dairy and bread. This was supported by ICA Boston. (Pictures in the above slide deck)
- In an effort to boost morale during some of the most difficult days of the coronavirus outbreak, we gave hundreds of daffodils to neighbors with a request to bring a flower to their neighbor who may be going through a difficult time. The daffodils were donated by Encore Boston Harbor. Funds for transportation came from The Grassroots Fund. (Pictures in the above slide deck)
- Serving as an integral part of Mutual Aid Eastie
- We are the fiscal agent for Mutual Aid Eastie, which is an ad-hoc group of individuals and organizations who have come together to respond to the COVID crisis in a way that connects neighbors with neighbors enabling mutual support, thus growing the cohesiveness of the community. Almost all of this funding is coming from the community itself, in many, many, small amounts, and a few large amounts.
- We are also part of Mutual Aid Eastie: We raise funds, source food, support restaurants sustain their business by buying at cost, distribute to families most in need (by determining who is falling through the cracks when it comes to government services), and serving families through people they most trust.