Deep networks of community support
June 10, 2020 | By Jen Higgins-Newman, BHFH Program Manager and Jeff Edenberg, BHFH Residency and Operations Director
This Saturday, one of our residents got a text from the director of Eastie Farm, who asked if we could meet a need that day by moving bags of donated food from one place to another.
This resident organized five of us in two cars to go to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Chelsea. There were bags upon bags of produce that had been donated by a local food bank, but there was too much food for the church to distribute. Eastie Farm helped coordinate with a restaurant in East Boston, La Gran Manzana, to take the produce and turn it into meals for the community.
It was inspiring to witness organizing work happen in real-time, and humbling to be able to play a small part.
The recent protests after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police have brought national attention not only to the need for racial justice and equity, but to the brilliant organizers behind these movements.
It’s important to recognize that there are people who do this kind of community organizing all the time. It is important to pay attention to the voices of black and brown youth and to support the work of community elders all the time, not just when they’re making headlines.
In Light and community,
Jen and Jeff
P.S. Eastie Farm and the Mutual Aid Eastie Coalition are just some excellent examples of the power of community organizing. Another is a group of volunteers in the Dorchester area who are distributing food to folks who need it. This group is currently supported by Greater Ashmont Main Street.
Photo: A full bag of groceries put together by donations from a group of volunteers in the Dorchester area. Each week, this group feeds hundreds of families. Courtesy of Lisa Graustein.