United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Commission

United Way’s Hunger Commission is the only local program that coordinates food distribution to emergency food pantries and kitchens, working with 21 locations in Bristol County. Annually, the Hunger Commission distributes hundreds of thousands pounds of food – including fresh, locally grown produce – to local programs for those in need. A leading statewide advocate on hunger issues, we are responsible for managing Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding for Bristol County.


Our Hunger Commission also partners with a number of different organizations and companies each year to rescue food and deliver food to where it is most needed. For over 20 years, YMCA Southcoast’s Sharing the Harvest Community Farm has been growing and donating fresh vegetables to the Hunger Commission. In 2015, the farm donated over 92,000 lbs of fresh produce to United Way’s Hunger Commission who delivered the fresh produce to local kitchens & shelters. In 2016, Sharing the Harvest added chickens to the farm to produce farm fresh eggs daily. The farm is always in need of volunteers, to learn more about how you can get involved, click here.
In 2016, Southcoast Health began partnering with United Way’s Hunger Commission to donate their left-over non-dairy soup. Since April, 260 gallons of soup has been donated -this amount of soup serves 4,160 meals.
Sid Wainer & Sons has also been a supporter of United Way’s work with the Hunger Commission for many years. They provide a variety of product weekly ranging from cheese to fresh produce.
The Hunger Commission also receives food from Big Value Outlet, Copicut Farms, Stop & Shop,  and Sweet and Salty Dairy.
hunger commission- mobile market


Each year, United Way’s  Hunger Commission partners with the National Association of Letter Carriers and the US Postal Service to coordinate the local piece of the largest one-day food drive in the country, Stamp Out Hunger. This event takes place each May. To donate, simply leave a bag of non-perishable food items by your mailbox and your postal carrier will pick up the items during their mail route. To learn more about Stamp Out Hunger, click here.

The Mobile Market (pictured above) was launched in 2015 to provide working families in need with fresh produce. Volunteers serve hundreds of families from July – October with fresh produce donated by Sharing the Harvest Community Farm, Southcoast Health and Sid Wainer & Sons. 2017 Mobile Market schedule: English   Portuguese Spanish
Hunger Heroes is a one-day Thanksgiving packaging event the whole family can get involved with. Volunteers gather to sort and package Thanksgiving meals for families in need in our community. The event takes place on Family Volunteer Day, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Check out www.volunteersouthcoast.org in October to register to volunteer.

How you can help

The Hunger Commission is always looking for individuals and companies to host food drives. Food drives are needed year round to help stock shelves at local pantries. If you are interested in hosting a food drive, please contact Victoria at 508-994-9625 x 210 or vgrasela@unitedwayofgnb.org
There are certain food items that are always needed:
  • Hot & Cold Cereal
  • Pancake Mix & Syrup
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Dry Pasta & Pasta Sauce
  • Rice
  • Canned Pasta
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Baked Beans
  • Soups
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Tuna Fish
  • Juices

Are you looking to donate food to a food drive happening now? Click here to see a full list of food drives.