Reading legislators secure $15,000 for local food pantry

BOSTON – Reading’s State House delegation has successfully secured $15,000 in state funding for the Reading Food Pantry to help address food insecurity issues due to the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic.

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) and State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) worked together to insert the funding into a $1.1 billion supplemental budget designed to help Massachusetts leverage federal funding for costs related to the state’s COVID-19 response. House Bill 4808, An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2020 to authorize certain COVID-19 spending in anticipation of federal reimbursement, was enacted in the House and Senate on July 16 and is now on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk awaiting his signature.

“The COVID-19 global pandemic has led to double-digit unemployment rates and has left many people struggling to pay their bills and put food on their tables,” said Representative Jones. “The Reading Food Pantry has done a tremendous job serving local individuals and families in need, and this funding will go a long way towards helping the food pantry continue to make a positive difference in people’s lives during these difficult times.”

“Food insecurity continues to be a very difficult issue affecting our community, it is my hope that these resources will assist the food pantry in providing the support that individuals and families need,” said Representative Haggerty. “As we deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19 we must be mindful of the everyday challenges faced by our friends and neighbors.”

“The simultaneous public health and economic crises facing our community make the work of the Reading Food Pantry more important than ever, as so many of our neighbors and loved ones face food insecurity,” said Senator Lewis. “Members of the community have always generously supported the Food Pantry, but I am confident that this state funding will make a meaningful impact in the efforts to combat hunger in Reading.”

Located at the Old South United Methodist Church and sponsored by the Reading Clergy Association, the Reading Food Pantry has been servicing the local community at its present location since the 1980s. Food donations can be left in specially-designated bins available at Stop and Shop and Market Basket.
Monetary donations can be mailed to the Old South Methodist Church, 6 Salem Street, Reading, MA 01867, with checks made payable to the Reading Food Pantry.
For more information, call (781) 944-8486 or visit the Reading Food Pantry’s Facebook page at