Boston Events Holidays

Food-Filled Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

Looking for hands-on ways to volunteer your time this Holiday season? This article rounds up some of the food-focused ways you can give back to the Boston community.

‘Tis the season to give back! With Thanksgiving behind us and the winter Holidays right around the corner, many of us are focused on getting through finals and enjoying a long break from schoolwork. But what about those who don’t have a warm, safe home to retreat to? This is a busy time of year, but consider making some time this month to support your community and do something kind for those less fortunate; you probably need a break from studying anyway. Find a cause to support with this list of charity events and volunteer opportunities.

All-You-Can-Eat Fundraiser at Sound Bites:

Okay first of all, if you haven’t been to Sound Bites, what are you even doing. Located in Ball Square, just down the street from the Tufts Medford Campus, Sounds Bites is a boomin’ local breakfast joint. On December 2nd, Sound Bites is hosting a fundraising event for Tufts International Development: India. Tickets will fund the group’s upcoming trip to India where they work to tackle public health initiatives like healthcare, sanitation, and education in India. Come support your fellow Jumbos working for a great cause just by eating an incredible meal. How cool is that?

Click the link above for tickets or get them at the door on December 2nd from 5-8pm.

Greater Boston Food Bank:

Most of you have probably heard of the Greater Boston Food  Bank, but did you know that their efforts serve more than 142,000 people a month across 190 towns throughout Eastern Massachusetts? You can sign up to volunteer individually or get a group together to help out in their warehouse by inspecting, sorting and packing food items to be shuttled out to families.

Click the link above to see all the ways you can help out.

Somerville Homeless Coalition:

Calling all cooks! The Somerville Homeless Coalition needs your help to prepare meals for its Project SOUP program, which offers free dinner to those in need. They work with other businesses in the community, such as diners and homeless shelters, to offer these meals. And if cooking really isn’t your jam, don’t worry—there’s still plenty to do. They’re always looking for volunteers to help coordinate food drives, provide administrative support, help out at special events, and more.

Click the above link to see all the ways to volunteer or reach out to volunteers@shcinc.org for more information.

Boston Public Market:

In case you needed another excuse to go to the Boston Public Market, they’re looking for volunteers to help out in their kitchen for classes and community events. They partner with Trustees of Reservations, a land conservation non-profit, and are largely reliant on volunteer support to keep their events, classes, and offerings available continuously. Think of it as double duty on your volunteer time–you get to help out with a cooking class, and it benefits both BPM and the conservation of land!

Email volunteer@bostonpublicmarket.org to get involved.

Pine Street Inn:

Located just down the street from Friedman, this organization began a mere 40 years ago as a shelter that offered just over 200 men suffering from alcoholism a safe place to sleep. Today, it serves 2,000 homeless men and women daily, offering services and support to help them get back on their feet and regain their independence. Consider supporting this great organization by stepping in to serve breakfast any day of the week, fill-in as a dinner server, or even speak to the organization to arrange services you can offer based on your expertise! Sounds like a great opportunity for RD’s-to-be, if you ask me.

Click the link above for services offered and volunteer opportunities or reach out to  volunteer@pinestreetinn.org for more info

Daily Table:

This not-for-profit organization offers healthy and affordable food in low income neighborhoods in Dorcester and Roxury.  Their two storefront locations offer a selection of fresh produce and ready-made meals at an accessible price. Volunteers at Daily Table can expect to do any number of tasks, such as help out their cooks in the kitchen, stock and reorganize freezer units, sort and prepare foods for sale in the storefront, and much more.

Click the link above to fill out their volunteer form and get started.

Food For Free:

Started in 1981 by a group of friends, Food for Free collects donations of food that would otherwise have been thrown away and delivers it to food pantries, day care programs, clinics, and to the homes of individuals in need. In 2016 alone they delivered 1.95 Million pounds of food to institutions and individuals alike. Food for Free looks for volunteers to help out with a wide variety of tasks and duties, such as food deliveries, food packing, administrative work in their office, and even working on their quarter-acre farm. They also offer internship opportunities (hint hint, Friedman first-years). 

Click the link above to fill out a volunteer application or contact Fiona Crimmins at fiona@foodforfree.org for more information.

While there’s a lot more than just these events going on in December, hopefully this list will serve as a springboard for getting involved. Perhaps you’ll find something you want to stick to year-round! Either way, you can help to spread Holiday cheer by volunteering your time in a meaningful way.


EJ Johnson is a first-year NICBC student who loves to read, talk, and eat, so she ended up in nutrition communications. She is working on earning her RD and in her spare time loves to read fiction and travel, although lately less travel due to the whole “broke grad student” thing.

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The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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