Massachusetts food pantries seeing more need than ever, asking for help

Empty pantry shelves at Bread and Roses Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in Lawrence, Mass.

Food pantries in Massachusetts are seeing a large increase in need this holiday season as more local families are trying to make ends meet.

Josh Young, vice president of field operations and legislative affairs at Action for Boston Community Development, also noted an uptick in need at the organization’s food access sites, where he said there were a few empty shelves on Wednesday.

The organization has delivered 1,600 holiday meals this year, up from about 1,250 last year.

Young noted factors such as the high costs of food, rent, utilities and medicine have driven people to ABCD for aid. Newly arrived migrants are also frequent customers, he said.

“They’re requesting food and clothing as well as some small personal items, and there definitely has been an uptick in those folks arriving at our food access centers,” Young said.