Pantry’s Closure Will Leave Void in Harvard Square Daytime Homeless Services

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Sasha Purpura of Food for Free, a nonprofit that delivers donated food to pantries throughout Cambridge and Boston, said that the organization receives approximately 10 percent of its funding from the government, with only about one percent from the federal government’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program. The remaining nice percent comes from the City of Cambridge’s Community Development Block Grant Program. Private and corporate donors make up the rest of the program's funding.

By contrast, Bread and Jams receives the majority of its funding from the federal government, according to Shannon Thomas.

For those who frequented Bread and Jams, its closure highlights their reliance on basic services.

Asked what new homelessness programs he would most like to most like to see in Cambridge, Conant Woodberry described “a Bread and Jams on wheels.”

“A traveling canteen that would be able to move to different locales...with hot foods instead of just cold sandwiches,” Conant Woodberry said. “It wouldn’t be as good as this, because of the multi-services provided here, but it’s something that should exist.”

When asked the same question over lunch at Bread and Jams, Mike Stroun, who has been utilizing homelessness services for five years, gestured to the center’s staff.

“More of this,” he said.

—Staff writer Sonali Y. Salgado can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SonaliSalgado16.

—Staff writer Caroline T. Zhang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CarolineTZhang.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: March 10, 2014

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the proportion of the Boston-Cambridge nonprofit Food for Free funds that comes from the City of Cambridge’s Community Development Block Grant Program, and a previous correction incorrectly stated the name of the nonprofit. In fact, Food for Free receives nine percent of its funding from the municipal program.


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