Mission & History
In 2017 Arlington EATS and the Arlington Food Pantry merged to accomplish one incredible mission, to eliminate food insecurity by providing nutritious and culturally appropriate food in a respectful and compassionate manner to any Arlington resident in need. We make sure that our students have healthy, nutritious food over the long summer vacation, February and April vacation and over the weekends.
The Arlington Food Pantry started in 1991 when a group of individuals from the Town, churches, and community leaders got together as a response to the first Iraq war, realizing things like fuel and food may be rationed. After an initial food drive everyone realized that hunger was an issue in Arlington and the food pantry became an ongoing monthly service offered out of the basement of Church of Our Saviour in East Arlington for 26 years.
In 2014, a group of churches, nonprofits, and the town met to discuss how to make the Food Pantry more sustainable to meet the needs of the community. As a result, the Pantry hired its first paid staff and opened a second site at 117 Broadway thanks to the generosity of several local churches and businesses.
Arlington EATS began in 2014 when a teacher at the Thompson Elementary School in Arlington, MA realized some of her students were experiencing behavior issues because they were hungry and began by offering snacks in the schools. In addition to our snack program Arlington EATS has evolved to offer vacation and summer lunches as well as a monthly community dinner.