Bite Back: Provisioning Tips and Resources for the Pandemic

By Dana Ferrante for Boston Compass (#123)

May 5, 2020


What’s in your pandemic pantry? In recent weeks, spin-offs of this question and cascades of answers have flooded social feeds and spurred many an ‘uplifting’ article in national news outlets. I don’t give a damn what’s in your pantry. I want to know, what’s in your community’s pantry? What are we doing to help one another stay safe and nourished in this crisis? We may be holed up in our own caves, but now is especially not the time to succumb to the egotistic eco-terrorism of a single-serving size container. Here’s a few ways to think beyond your bread box:

First, plan ahead! Send out a call, check in with others, make a goddamn list. Don’t leave your house without asking what your roommates, friends, or eldery Aunt who lives 30 minutes away needs. Make each trip worthwhile for the community at large. Does your roommate shop on Tuesdays? Great, pick a day later in the week for your weekly (or biweekly trip) and ask if they need anything before heading out.

When you’re ready to buy, buy big, or stay the f home. If you don’t think you’ll get through all the food, then great! Drop it on a friend’s porch, or a friend of a friend’s porch. Post about your surplus on social media. Whatever you do, don’t let it go to waste.

Support your community, as much as your means allow. Remember that cafe whose WiFi you used every (normal) Saturday afternoon? Now’s the time to pay it forward. Many cafes, bakeries, and specialty shops are selling bulk ingredients online (see Forge Baking Company). Check local businesses’ websites before heading straight to the grocery lines. For bulk veggies, check out Red Fire Farm, Brookford Farm, or Freedom Food Farm for some seasonal options. For meats, see Lilac Hedge Farm. And for all your baking needs, Elmendorf Baking Supplies & Cafe has got you covered and then some.

If you or someone you know needs help buying groceries (or can deliver groceries to others), head to mutualaidmamas.com for more info (Medford & Somerville residents only). For more mutual aid networks, check out Boston Public Libraries blog post “COVID-19 Mutual Aid Resources.”


Virtual/Socially Distant Events:

  • Wine classes from Rebel Rebel: virtual, natural, from the comfort of your couch. Each class is $10 per person! Check their website, social, enewsletter, etc. for more details on how to sign up.

  • Guac to ragu, knife sharpening to cocktails, follow @ofjuliet_mediaverse (and peep their venmo where you can donate to support their staff at www.ofjuliet.com/television) for virtual culinary classes from the folks at Juliet in Union Square (and company!).

  • Rumor has it some live cooking demo content is coming from the team at @meimeiboston

  • Shake it up with some bartending tutorials on Instagram from @barnoirboston, @backbarunion, and @tendstotravel

  • Cook the Books is going virtual with a special “Pantry Edition” hosted by Watertown Librarian Aimee Lambert.

  • Tons of traditional and non-traditional, pub games/event going online, brought to you by the folks at Aeronaut Brewing.

Check out all the art and columns of May's Boston Compass at https://www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass