The First Parish Newbury Food Pantry has grown from serving a single person in December 2015 to feeding over 500 people each Friday. We are the largest all-volunteer food pantry in the Greater Newbury/ Newburyport area serving the communities of Newbury, Byfield, Newburyport, West Newbury, Salisbury, Rowley, Ipswich, and Georgetown.
The mission of the First Parish Newbury Food Pantry is twofold; alleviating hunger in the greater Newbury/ Newburyport area and providing residents with opportunities to help their neighbors. We supply nutritional food at no cost to families who need food assistance. Each week, over 200 volunteers welcome their neighbors with compassion and respect and help provide the food families have requested.
The First Parish Newbury Food Pantry is grateful to have wide support throughout the eight communities we serve.
Every week, over 200 volunteers assist the pantry, donating more than 450 hours of their time. They deliver food every Friday to over 130 households that have issues with transportation. To accommodate our guests who do not have internet access or are not comfortable with ordering online, our staff of volunteers calls over 130 households each week. Many of our seniors are socially isolated and our weekly call is a welcome opportunity to talk to a friendly and non-judgmental neighbor who is there to help them.
In addition to our volunteers, 17 service organizations and churches have held food and gift card drives and raised money to support our work in alleviating hunger in our community. Our many supporters include:
The Newburyport Lion’s Club
The Newbury Police
Triton High School
The people we serve reside in Newburyport (40.2%), Newbury/Byfield (21.5%), Rowley (7.9%), Salisbury (14.6%), Ipswich (1.3%), Georgetown (7.1%) and West Newbury (1.1%) as well as 6.3% in surrounding towns. 60.7% of all households who use the pantry have a senior living in their household.
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) provides, at low cost, the majority of the food we distribute.
Nourishing the North Shore (NNS) provides the pantry with fresh, locally grown produce. We also participate in their weekly school food recovery program. Each week, NNS picks up unused food like milk and fruit cups that are then distributed by the food pantry.
The Elder Pet Fund enables us to provide free dog and cat food. We know from experience that given limited resources, some of our guests have chosen to feed their pets rather than themselves. Partnering with the Elder Pet Fund prevents our guests from having to sacrifice their needs to feed their pets.
In addition, 12 farms and 14 businesses provide us with discounted or donated food for our guests.
Beginning in 2023, we partnered with the Triton Regional School District and opened school pantries in five local schools. Teachers no longer need to use their own funds to make food available to students so that hunger will not impede their learning.
Each week, volunteers visit a number of local schools and pick up unused food that would otherwise be be sent to a landfill. We make that food available to our guests who need food assistance.