Damien’s Place to reopen May 14
The Family Pantry at Damien’s Place will be re-opening on May 14.
To keep volunteers and clients safe, the pantry will be implementing some changes to their procedures.
Food will be distributed outside the building. All clients are expected to wear masks and stay socially distanced from each other and from volunteers. Volunteers will also be wearing personal protective equipment.
“We got the PPEs that we needed, and we’re monitoring what the governor is saying,” Carol Cordeiro, the pantry director, said. “We feel more confident and safer with the masks.”
The pantry will be open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m., and will not be opening on Tuesdays for the time being.
“We wanted to make sure that if we opened, we could stay open, and that seemed to be the consensus of the board,” said Cordeiro.
Damien’s Place has been open for 28 years, and typically serves about 800 families per month, which adds up to more than 2,000 individuals, according to Cordeiro.
Current clients should bring their card, and new clients should bring a photo ID. Cordeiro said that the application process is simple -- people just need to provide the names and dates of birth for everyone in the household.
“We’ll serve anybody who comes, whenever they need food,” Cordeiro said. She said that the pantry is dropping many of its pre-pandemic requirements: Clients can live in any town, and can come more than once a month if they need to.
Cordeiro said that many food pantries are seeing many new clients, and she thinks that will be the case at Damien’s, too.
The pantry is located at 3065 Cranberry Highway, B20, which is in the rear of the building.
Before the pandemic, the pantry allowed customers to come into the pantry and pick out food from the shelves.
Now, the pantry will be distributing pre-packaged boxes of food. There isn’t enough space inside the pantry for it to be safe for clients and volunteers to be inside together, Cordeiro said.
The boxes of food will include non-perishable food items along with meat, frozen foods, and plenty of fresh vegetables.
Damien’s Place is supplied with food by the Greater Boston Food Bank, of which the pantry is a partner. The pantry is not currently accepting donations of food from the public.
For more information about Damien’s, go to www.damiens-place.org.