Help Brown Bag Provide Groceries for Neighbors in Need

The Brown Bag program provides much-needed grocery supplements for nearly 350-400 local older adults each month. But Brown Bag runs on volunteer power and needs a fresh influx of helping hands, said volunteer organizer Marie Mazzeo.

“We’ve been lucky in recent years to have a great group of regular volunteers, but right now we’re in desperate need of help,” said Mazzeo. “We’d very much like to hear from anyone who can help us out for three hours each month, to help ensure others get the food they need.”

Volunteers help the Brown Bag program deliver literally tons of food to local elders in need each month. But the program needs new helpers to keep things going. SCES FILE PHOTO

Hosted at the Somerville Center for Arts at the Armory on the second Tuesday of each month, Brown Bag is a monthly collaboration between Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) and the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Brown Bag begins at 8 a.m., with the Greater Boston Food Bank delivering 3.5 tons of groceries. About 30 volunteers are needed each month to load pasta, oranges, and non-perishable food items into the large brown bags that give the program its name.

Clients pick up bags of groceries at the Armory between 10 and noon. Drivers also deliver bags of groceries to local senior housing.

The program serves residents who meet income guidelines. Recipients must be 60 and up, or have a disability and live in a housing facility primarily occupied by elders.

To learn about volunteering, call the SCES Volunteer Program Coordinator at 617-628-2601 ext. 3051 or e-mail

Marie Mazzeo is volunteer manager at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES), a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older people in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information about SCES programs, visit, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact the SCES Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601 for free advice and guidance.