Mutual aid efforts have continued throughout the pandemic, throughout Central Square. We'll be showcasing these organizations work and sharing how you can get involved.
The idea is simple.
Hire essential workers to feed essential workers. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, food pantries couldn't keep up with the growing amount of food insecurity.
Dr. Marena Lin, Tracy Chang, Irene Li, and Lily Huang, along with their team of volunteers, started feeding hundreds of families dealing with food insecurity through Project Restore Us (PRU).
These truths help inform PRU's work:
- 1 out of 5 Massachusetts restaurants have closed permanently since March. This winter will be difficult for restaurants as they lose outdoor dining as a source of revenue.
- Due to the pandemic, 1 in 7 Massachusetts residents don’t have enough to eat. In the words of one Boston resident: I am eating less to make ends meet.
With no meaningful relief from the government, these women have put their restaurants on pause to step up and help save their communities.
When Pagu and Mae Asian Eatery — Central Square mainstays — sacrificed their indoor dining space for public health, they needed to find a creative way to generate revenue. Enter: Grocery delivery, a safe way to to make money, pay employees, and hopefully survive the winter.
I spent the day learning from the coordinators, loading up cars, and making deliveries. The volunteers are business owners, students, conerned members of the community, and out-of-work industry folks trying to lend a hand.
It's simple to help and the impact is mighty. These families are getting a box of essential groceries as well as bulk rice and beans to feed their families. And because PRU is operated by restaurants, these folks are getting restaurant quality food.