The Marion Institute tackles hunger

Apr 14, 2020

With Marion set on its own food program thanks to an effort by the town and school district, The Marion Institute joined an effort to fight food insecurity in Wareham.

The South Coast Food Policy Council at the Marion Institute has teamed up with  Wareham’s John Decas and Southcoast Health to provide 100 food-insecure people in Wareham with a hot meal from a restaurant five days a week for a month through the Cooks for Community program.

Two restaurants, Marc Anthony’s and Minkle Boys Catering, provide the meals. Some of the food will be dropped off for homeless people at an encampment and motels, and the rest will be picked up by the YMCA. Community Youth Empowerment has volunteered to hand out the food.

Liz Wiley, the director of the Marion Institute, of which the South Coast Food Policy Council is a project, worked with the YMCA and Council on Aging to identify those in need, so they will get a hot, nutritious meal every day. Recipients include senior citizens and the homeless.

All the meals will be family-style and include proteins and vegetables.

“There’s a need, and we are doing everything we can to meet that need. We're just very grateful that we have this opportunity,” Wiley said.

John Decas reached out to Wiley to ask about starting a new program for Wareham residents. He initially donated $10,000, which was matched by Southcoast Health. He then donated $10,000 more to fund the program for a month.

“I’m hoping this will inspire other people... to contribute to the institute for this same program to extend beyond the month,” Decas said. “It’s a time of need, a lot of people are struggling.”

The program also benefits restaurants, which are struggling to survive on take-out and delivery only. To help, donations can be made to the Marion Institute’s  Cooks for Community program.