Agency Spotlight: The American Red Cross Food Pantry

To some people, food is not just a part of life, but an essential and precious thing. While doing the work, I felt several emotions. I hadn’t realized that so many people were starving and couldn’t afford food in Boston. I usually throw away my left-over food and didn’t think about how much food was wasted. Now, I will begin to save food and think about what can I do for starving people. I will definitely volunteer at the Red Cross Food Pantry again.

~Boston Cares volunteer Hyeonjeong Lee


The American Red Cross Food Pantry, located in Dorchester, works tirelessly to supply food to low-income families. They distribute food to an average of 1,050 people each day, providing balanced, nutritious meals to those who would otherwise be forced to choose between paying rent, feeding their family, or seeking health care.

Volunteers work in two capacities:

  • Assembling nutritious food bags for clients (Tuesdays and Fridays)
  • Distributing the food bags based on a  registration system established by the food pantry (Wednesdays and Saturdays)

Each Red Cross food pantry opportunity runs from 8:30am-12:00pm.


The American Red Cross Food Pantry crew

Below is an interview with David Andre and Peter Hubbard, representatives from the food pantry who were kind enough to chat with us.

How long has American Red Cross Food Pantry been operating?

The ARC Boston Pantry opened in Cambridge in 1982. We moved from there to the Fenway area (current location of Beth Israel Medical center), then to the YWCA basement on Clarendon Street in Boston, and then to 285 Columbus Ave in Boston.  Finally in 2007, we moved to our current location at 1033 Mass Ave in Boston.

How many individuals are fed at a distribution event?

We distribute to an average of 1,050 people each day that we open.

How do Boston Cares volunteers help at the Red Cross?

Last year we had 281 Boston Cares volunteers visit us 427 times.

What is the best part about working at the Red Cross Pantry?

The best part of working at the food pantry is how we engage with an amazing cross section of people, volunteers and clients alike, in the simple exchange of meeting each other’s needs for food, dignity and service. It is never dull and can be lots of fun.

Interested in volunteering at the American Red Cross Food Pantry?  Visit our website to find an opportunity that works with your schedule!