Basic Needs Resources

Resources for basic needs assistance. Please note that this list is subject to change.

FREE BREAKFAST & LUNCH LOCATIONS

The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and other community organizations, has an ONLINE MAP of sites providing free meals to all youth and teens at various locations and times across the City.

Boston Public Schools continues to provide free breakfast and lunch meals to all Boston children. Locations will be open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 11:30 am at the schools listed in this link. A variety of packaged meal options will be available for pick-up. See the list of Boston Public School’s sites here >

Free meals site for Boston Families

PROJECT BREAD’S FOODSOURCE HOTLINE

Toll-free hunger help-line for Massachusetts residents, 1-800-645-8333.

If you or someone you know living in Massachusetts needs food assistance, please refer them to Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline toll-free at 1-800-645-8333. This resource will remain up and running through closures to assist all Massachusetts residents needing food assistance during this period of crisis. They are able to provide information about resources in your community as well as assist with SNAP applications over the phone.

FoodSource Hotline Hours:
Monday- Friday: 8am – 7pm
Saturday: 10am – 2pm

Their counselors can assist callers in 160 languages and their is a dedicated line to assist our hearing-impaired community at TTY: 1-800-377-1292. More information can be found, here.

Catholic Charities Food Pantries and Basic Needs

Catholic Charities Service Centers in Brockton, Lynn and Lowell are operating with limited staff and services. Check with the location for information on services available.

The Basic Needs Hotline is open for calls: (617) 506-6628.

Local food pantry sites include:

  • Catholic Charities Yawkey Center, 185 Columbia Road, Dorchester
    P: 617-506-6600
  • Catholic Charities South, 169 Court Street, Brockton
    P: 508-587-0815
  • El Centro Food Pantry, 75 Union Park St., Boston, MA
    P: 617-350-5026

Emergency Child Care

Do not contact an emergency child care program unless you require emergency, back-up, drop-in care. Priority must be given to people including but are not limited to health care workers, essential state and human service workers, COVID-19 health workers, grocery store employees, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, transportation and infrastructure workers, sanitation workers, DCF-involved families, and families living in shelters. To slow the spread of the coronavirus, all families should keep children out of group care settings to the greatest extent possible. Emergency Child Care Programs are for when all other non-group-care settings have been exhausted and families have no other options.

Emergency Child Care Directory


Additional resources:
BOSTON 211 HELP STEPS

HelpSteps is a free web and app-​based system that connects individuals to health and human services available in Massachusetts, developed by Dr. Eric Fleegler, a physician in the division of Emergency Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. HelpSteps is a vehicle designed to combat the social determinants of health by making social and health services readily available, right at patients’ fingertips. To better serve the residents of Boston, Boston Public Health Commission partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital and adopted HelpSteps as its information and referral resource. The tool is designed to cater to users’ needs by location, language, services, nearest bus routes and much more. Built on a database that includes information on over 11,000 programs, it is the most comprehensive option for finding local health and social services. See Boston 211 resources here >