Providing Food to People in Need
On average, The Gray House Food Pantry serves 80–120 households per week.
Households are able to visit the pantry ten times in a year. With each visit they receive three to four days worth of food.
Providing food assistance for people living in poverty is crucial because it prevents physical and emotional health problems and helps sustain quality of life.
To learn how you can get involved in the food pantry, please see our volunteer opportunities.
Food Pantry Program Information
Hours of Distribution
Thursdays, 9 am–1 pm
*Please note there will be no distribution on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, eligible families can pre-register to receive a turkey and other thanksgiving food.
First time visitors will need to complete an intake form. This can be done during your visit or you can complete the form ahead of time (see links below) and bring with you along with the required documentation listed below.
How often can I receive food?
Households can come to The Gray House up to ten times within a calendar year.
What do I need to bring with me?
- A form of ID for all members of the household
- Proof of income
- Proof of address such as a piece of mail from the last six months (cannot be junk mail) or a lease agreement
If you have a MassHealth card, this will cover requirements 1 & 2.
To find a pantry near you, visit the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ Food Bank Agency Locator
The Need for Food Assistance
The Gray House is located in the North End of Springfield, one of the poorest areas in the city and in the state. Here over 45% of residents live below the poverty line; that’s four times more than the statewide rate.
Many of our neighbors have to choose between paying rent, utility bills including heating, child care, medical bills and prescriptions, purchasing school uniforms and winter coats, and buying food. Clothing and food are often the first areas in which people make sacrifices. This is why hunger emerges as a serious, and increasingly a chronic, problem in impoverished neighborhoods like the North End.
Many of our visitors have told us they are turning to emergency food support for the first time. They are newly unemployed, employed part-time with their hours greatly reduced, grandparents finding themselves unexpectedly caring for family members who can no longer support themselves, and seniors choosing between food and prescriptions.
In addition, many people had been able to get by with federal food assistance. However, in November of 2013, the federal government cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) and people lost valuable support. The SNAP cuts had an impact on 160,000 families in western Massachusetts. A family of four now receives $36 less a month. This may not sound like much, but the average SNAP benefit provides about $1.40 per meal, which means a family of four will lose their ability to pay for at least 21 meals a month.