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Newton’s Centre Street Food Pantry names new executive director

Newton’s Centre Street Food Pantry announced that Rose Saia, who led its pantry operations throughout the pandemic, has been appointed as the organization’s executive director.

The pantry, located at 11 Homer St. in Newton Centre, serves the residents of Newton, Allston, Brighton, Brookline, Needham, Watertown, Waltham, Wellesley, and West Roxbury, according to a statement.

The pantry serves about 1,000 families each month and continues to register dozens of new families every week.

“Meeting the growth has been challenging, but CSFP is 100 percent committed to going above and beyond to be sure that those we serve today, and those who need us tomorrow, are warmly welcomed and receive what they need,” Saia said.

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Saia, an Acton resident, also cooks for a community supper in her town and serves on that organization’s board of directors. She is also a storyteller who has appeared on WGBH and National Public Radio.

“I grew up in South Boston and many of my stories highlight those who helped me through difficult times,” Saia said. “My experiences fuel my passion for Centre Street’s mission and my work with them.”

At Centre Street, Saia’s work was instrumental to ensuring that the agency consistently provided nutritious food to a fast-growing number of clients, the statement said.

Last year, Saia introduced a new “shopping” hour for seniors when translators also would be available.

The agency continues curbside distribution at its location in Newton Centre because it efficiently gives a household a full complement of groceries in less than two minutes, the statement said.

Since the start of the pandemic, the pantry has distributed 85,000 grocery bags in 17,000 household visits, the statement said.

Families receive fresh produce, dairy, eggs, meats, fish or vegetarian items, dry groceries, personal care products, and extra food for families with children.

Curbside pickup of groceries is available every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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For more information, visit centrestfoodpantry.org.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.