Agency provides groceries and pet food for qualifying families and individuals at no cost

(Boston, MA) — The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is expanding its partnership with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), by participating in two monthly ABCD FOOD POP-UPS to help distribute groceries and pet food for individuals and families in underserved and under-resourced communities in Greater Boston.

A May 2019 report by Feeding America revealed that Massachusetts has the most expensive food prices in the country, with residents of Eastern Massachusetts shouldering the highest food costs statewide.

ABCD FOOD POP-UPS are among several new initiatives designed to strengthen ABCD’s food security program.

To qualify, residents of Boston, Medford, Everett, Belmont, Newton or Winchester must have a household annual income under 80 percent AMI (Area Median Income).

Monthly, FOOD POP-UPS visit Mattapan, Roslindale, East Boston and South Boston, providing fresh produce, meats and grocery staples.

Additionally, ARL will be present at the East Boston and Mattapan pop-ups to provide dog and cat food.


A line forms at ABCD's pop-up

A line forms outside of the East Boston pop-up.


ARL staff members work to hand out pet food at ABCD pop-ups

ARL’s team happily hands out pet food during Friday’s pop-up in East Boston.

There are no appointments required. Community members must register through ABCD’s online portal by visiting Supplies are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  

ARL’s collaboration with ABCD began in 2019, with ARL’s Wellness Waggin’, offering low-cost, high-quality wellness care for pets in Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, and East Boston, and the organization is thrilled to be able to expand this partnership to offer continued assistance to our local communities.

“Food insecurity is an unfortunate reality for many, and can extend to pets as well,” stated ARL President and CEO Dr. Edward Schettino. “ABCD is continually finding ways to better serve clients, and ARL is privileged to be able to be a part of this important program to help both people and animals in our communities.

ABCD President and CEO Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq., said that high inflation and food costs could force people to make the difficult choice between feeding themselves or their beloved pets. “Right now inflation and grocery prices are through the roof for everyone. Pets are family members. They improve emotional well-being and make life a little brighter all around. Deciding which family member gets fed is crushing. ABCD thanks the Animal Rescue League for this expanded partnership and for providing free pet food to clients at our FOOD POP-UPS.”

ARL’s contribution of free dog and cat food makes the difference for residents who are trying to make ends meet.

ABCD client Diogenes Castillo supplements his grocery budget by visiting an ABCD FOOD POP-UP for fresh meat, produce and staples.

He said, “With grocery prices being so expensive, everything helps. My dog is like my best friend. Receiving pet food from the Animal Rescue League of Boston when I visit ABCD FOOD-POP UPS lets me stretch my dollars and make sure that my good boy is well fed.”

Feeding America also reports that in 2021, 53 million people turned to food access centers and community programs for help with putting food on the table. These pop-ups are ideal for those who don’t live near a food access center, can’t get to one during regular hours or who have mobility issues.