Scarborough food charity 5n2 must keep making 3,500 meals each week — but how?


Keeping Scarborough fed will not get easier in 2022.

Seema David knows it.

When the COVID-19 emergency finally ends, the food emergency — which many observers say more than doubled — of Scarborough families in need will not.

That thought hangs over David and volunteers at 5n2 as they drag rescued and donated food, seven days a week, up concrete steps into an industrial unit behind Ellesmere Avenue in Woburn.

Using part of a former sports bar and part of a former dance studio, the charity started new programs and grew its output last year from 1,300 to 3,500 meals and meal supports each week.

“We haven’t closed a single day since March of last year,” she said last week.

After six years without government support, and with just enough funds to keep a kitchen running, the pandemic brought grants that let David pay a few staff.

But now, after an eviction notice, the charity must relocate before 2022 and somehow keep up with requests for help, even if its extra financial support disappears.

“How do we sustain our work? We don’t have a single corporate sponsor,” said David.