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Food Assistance

Summer Food for Families Backpack Program (click for flyer)

People in need of food have several options. Newton case managers can help you access any of the food assistance programs listed below, or you may access them directly on your own.
The lack of school supplied breakfast and lunch on the weekends and school vacations can be a significant hardship for families. The City, in partnership with the Newton Food Pantry would like to better address this issue by extending the summer backpack program into the school year. We will be offering FREE backpacks to families filled with staples at community locations to help insure that all our families with need have adequate food on the table throughout the school year. The following community locations will have backpacks available for pick-up:

This summer we will again be offering backpacks to families in need. The following locations will have backpacks available (see flyer for more information):

Newton HHS                         Gath Pool                                 Crystal Lake        
ewton Free Library           Newton Boys& Girls Club      Fire Station 10 (Dedham St.)
West Suburban YMCA        Fire Station 4 (Crafts. St.)

About the Backpack Program

What is the Food for Families Backpack Program? The program is designed to help Newton families with children under the age of 18 have extra food to offset the loss of school breakfast and lunch programs during the summer. Backpacks with a few meal's worth of nonperishable food will be available at locations across the city for families to pick up.

What is the difference between the Food for Families Program and the FUEL program? The Food for Families program has backpacks located at different city locations and is run by the Health and Human Services Department. The FUEL program provides backpacks at the schools and is run by the FUEL program at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill. Both programs offer FREE backpacks of food to Newton families that may need extra support. **Families can access both programs at the same time.

What's in the backpacks? Each backpack will have a few meal's worth of nonperishable items. Contents will vary, but are based on nutritional needs of children. Most of the backpacks contain three proteins (canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter), fruits (fruit cups, fruit sauce), crackers, past and sauce, mac & cheese, and a nutritious snack.  Nut-free bags can be requested.

Where can I get a backpack? The City of Newton Health and Human Services Department (1000 Commonwealth Ave.), The Newton Free Library (330 Homer St.), Fire Station 10 (755 Dedham St.), Fire Station 4 (Crafts St.), the Boys & Girls Club (675 Watertown St.), the West Suburban YMCA, Gath Pool, and Crystal Lake. Program partners include NCDF- Houghton Village, some Newton Parks and Rec. Camps and Creative Start. If you'd like a bag and your child participates in any of these programs, contact the director for more information.

How do I pick up a backpack? For each location, both children and adults can request a backpack at the main desk location.

What should I do with the empty backpack? We request that you return the empty backpack to any of our locations. The ability to reuse backpacks keeps the cost of the program down and allows us to serve more families.

How many times can I use the program? We respectfully request that you pick up a backpack no more than twice per week per family.

Do I need to show income verification or other identification to get a backpack? No

I have other questions regarding services for myself and my family. Where can I get help? The City of Newton Social Services page  has information about available services. You can also call 617-796-1420 to make an appointment with a member of our Social Services staff for further assistance.

SNAP - Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps)

SNAP Website - Check eligibility, apply online, learn more
Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance
80 Everett Ave., Chelsea, MA 02120

Newton Farmer's Markets accept SNAP benefits!
Cold Spring Park                 West Newton                                                       
1200 Beacon St.                  Elm St.
Tuesdays 1:30-6pm           Saturdays 9:30am-12:30pm
July 9- Oct. 22                   June 22-Oct. 5

WIC - Women, Infant, Children

WIC Website: Check eligibility, apply for assistance, find breastfeeding support and more
32 South St., Suite 201, Waltham, MA 02453

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CFSP)

The CSFP is a once per month food distribution for individuals 60 years of age or older. For more information, including eligibility requirements, please click here or contact Emily Kuhl:, 617-796-1672  

Mobile Market

A free farmer's market style distribution of assorted foods for all, including veterans, military families, and seniors.

Where: The American Legion Nonantum Post 440, 295 California St, Newton, MA
Time: 10:00-11:00am
Summer 2019 Dates: June 21, July 19, Aug 16, Sept. 20
To register, call: Ken Poirier at (617) 244-0440. Leave a voicemail with your name & phone number.
*Please bring reusable grocery bags, baskets, or a cart to carry your food.

Food Pantries -- 3 in Newton

(referral needed, please print & complete this form)

Food pantry participants may visit all 3 food pantries, if needed.

Centre St. Food Pantry
11 Homer St.
Tuesday's 4-7pm
Every 1st Saturday 11am-1pm
*Families with kids 18 and under can get extra breakfast and lunch items in the summer

Newton Food Pantry
1000 Commonwealth Ave.
Wed. 1:30-5:30pm
Every 3rd Saturday 10am-12pm
*Families with kids 18 and under can shop twice in July and August

Arabic Baptist Food Pantry
187 Church St.
2nd and 4th Friday's 11am-1pm
Twice per month

Newton Food Pantry

*The Newton Food Pantry only serves Newton residents. First time shoppers must bring proof of residency.

Phone (617) 796-1233
Click here to download the Food Pantry Application Form

Location: Newton City Hall (Basement Level)
1000 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton MA 02459

Enter from Homer Street side of building – look for our sign.

The Newton Food Pantry provides a 4 – 5 day supply of nutritionally balanced food, once a month, to supplement the basic food supply of Newton residents in need. Our shelves are stocked with canned goods, toiletries and, when available, meat, fish, fresh produce, salads, tofu, eggs, cheese, milk and other dairy products. Everything is free to those who have verified need. The Newton Food Pantry only serves Newton residents so first time shoppers must bring proof of residency. Open for shopping every Wednesday 1:30 – 5:30, and the third Saturday of each month 10am – noon.

Non-perishable food and toiletry donations may be dropped off outside our basement door whenever City Hall is open, or while the pantry is staffed: Wednesdays 9:30am – 5:30pm, third Saturdays 10 – noon.  By law, we only accept canned or boxed food that is unopened and within expiration dates.  We cannot accept medications, vitamins, or homemade food products.

The Newton Food Pantry is an independent, all-volunteer nonprofit organization that is not directly funded by the city or any government source. If you would like to help put food on our hungry neighbors’ table, please make checks payable to Newton Food Pantry and mail to the address above. Or give online at our website.

For more information, please call (617) 796-1233.

Centre St Food PantryCentre Street Food Pantry

Phone (617) 340-9554
Click here to download the Food Pantry Application Form

11 Homer Street, Newton Centre, MA ; Enter on Furber Lane

The Centre Street Food Pantry is a 501(c )3 non-profit organization and a member of the Greater Boston Food Bank. It is located on the lower level of Trinity Church in Newton Centre at 11 Homer Street. The #52 MBTA bus stops nearby, and we are a few blocks from the Newton Centre T stop. The phone number is (617) 340-9554

The pantry is open every Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eligible people are welcome to shop once per month.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation of non-perishable food, household, or hygiene items please contact the pantry at If you would like to make a cash donation, you may mail it to the address above.

Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry

The Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry/Clothes Closet is a non-profit organization run by volunteers from the church, community, Boy Scouts troops, YMCA, and Eliot House. The Pantry is located at: 

Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry
187 Church Street
Newton Corner, MA 02458
(617) 723-9766

Food and clothing is distributed the second and fourth Friday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The pantry provides a three-day supply of food once a month for eligible Newton residents.

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