Food aid centers face high demand

Monee Vance, Operations Manager at ABCD’s Parker Hill/Fenway Neighborhood Service Center in Roxbury. PHOTO: MORGAN C. MULLINGS

Lines at food pantries and soup kitchens normally grow around this time of year, but the pandemic has doubled them, aid workers say. With an unprecedented amount of need, relief centers are pooling their resources to make sure everyone is fed, though it may not be enough.

ICNA Relief, a Muslim charity in Roxbury, has started a delivery service for its food pantry as the community suffers from COVID-19 and job loss. But with sickness affecting the volunteers and their families, ICNA is stripped of more than one resource. Nomi Palwala, the director of hunger prevention at ICNA Relief, felt the burden of the pandemic increase around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Another relief center, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), added an extra emergency relief day during the holiday week to provide last-minute food, fuel and housing assistance.