How to help (close to home) this holiday season

This article is an updated and modified version of a piece that ran last year in Neighborhood View. Detailed info on how to help appears at the end of this article. Are you looking for meaningful ways to give back this holiday season? Donating and volunteering locally has many benefits beyond the most important of meeting local community needs.  Donating to a local food or toy drive or doing hands-on volunteering provides an opportunity to connect more deeply with one’s community and meet others who are spending their time giving back. Volunteering can also offer a different or broader perspective on one’s own life. The need for donations and volunteering is year-round, but giving back at this time could also help jump start a cycle of giving and volunteering during all seasons. Malden is a community rich in nonprofits, service organizations and community groups that help those in need, including local people struggling with housing insecurity, food insecurity, substance abuse, isolation and other challenges. The Malden Warming Center serves nightly meals and a warm place […]


Malden provides support for Haitian migrant families

By Maile Blume A rapidly growing number of Haitian migrant families are seeking shelter in Massachusetts to escape violence, poverty, and hunger — all of which have intensified since 2021 following the assassination of the former President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse. Malden joins cities throughout Massachusetts in responding to the needs of the incoming families. Reverend Dieufort Fleurissaint, the founder of True Alliance Center, Inc. — a Haitian-led organization dedicated to supporting migrant families — said that those arriving often do not have any family ties in the U.S. and face many challenges to finding housing and employment. “You know what’s the number one thing they told me? They need to work,” said Fleurissaint, adding, “Many of them are engineers, teachers, doctors, plumbers, professional drivers, artists — many of them had basically previous professions back home.” However, migrants seeking shelter in Massachusetts must wait for work authorizations, which can sometimes take six months to a year to receive. In the meantime, the families depend on services contracted through non-profit organizations, including shelter in motels and […]


Bread of Life’s Annual 5k Walk honors Tom Feagley

By Sabrina Monteiro Bread of Life’s (BOL) annual 5k event took place on Sunday, October 1, 2023. Continuing BOL’s tradition of honoring someone new each term, this year’s walk was in memory of former Executive Director, and loving friend, Tom Feagley, who passed away last May. Feagley started out volunteering at the Saint Paul’s Parish Supper Program in Malden, a social time intended for members of the parish. He took note that many homeless individuals, who were not part of the parish, were showing up at the meals. Recognizing the apparent need, he went on to found the Bread of Life, managing supper and pantry programs for Malden and surrounding communities. The organization grew under three decades of his leadership. In later years and before his retirement in 2019, he worked to secure funding to build a permanent home for all of BOL’s programs. This project has now officially come to life as it is currently being constructed at 54 Eastern Avenue in Malden.  “Tom was very involved in the community…he was a lovely and […]


Bread of Life perseveres with its mission in spite of challenges

By Anne D’Urso-Rose The line snaked in fits and starts along a path outside the First Baptist Church of Malden. Those waiting for their free meals from Bread of Life were practicing social distancing with unequal measurements of separation. “I’ve been coming for many years,” said Govan, a Bread of Life meal patron, as he waited in good spirits. “These people are wonderful. We’d all be lost without them.” Life is challenging for Malden residents these days but for those with the least amount of resources, the situation has hit harder. To address the need, dedicated staff and volunteers on the front lines continue to serve the city’s most vulnerable residents with commitment and resourcefulness. “Since last week, the numbers seemed to be going up,” said John Robillard, the Meals Program Assistant for Bread of Life. “Today (Tuesday) we have 75 meals, where normally we make about 50.” “People have to eat,” said Gabriella Snyder Stelmack, Executive Director of the Bread of Life, in a recent interview with Neighborhood View. “We’ve had to make changes […]


Bread of Life nearly halfway funded to reconstruct Eastern Ave. headquarters

Story by Diti Kohli Bread of Life Malden, an organization dedicated to preventing food insecurity, effectively raised $1.4 million, or nearly 50 percent, of the required funding to reconstruct its headquarters at 54 Eastern Ave. as of March 19. Some basic services, including a food pantry, are already run out of the acquired building.  Executive director Gabriella Snyder Stelmack and development director Patty Kelly informed the City Council of the organization’s progress and mission at the March 19 council meeting. The $2.9 million funding estimate for reconstruction includes the remaining loan payment on the Eastern Avenue building. The 501c3 non-profit bought the property for $750,000 in 2014 using monies from philanthropy efforts. Bread of Life’s actions to open its own headquarters follow a long history of occupying temporary meal sites. “We lost our meal site several times,” said Stelmack resignedly. “Different times we’ve been serving out of our van or truck in a parking lot. And a lot of those [past] facilities, almost all of them, have had really outdated equipment and kitchens.” A projected […]


Bread of Life 23rd Annual Walk for bread and 5K run

Pine Banks Park Sunday October 3, 2015 was the scene of the 23rd Bread of Life (BOL) 5K run and walk to raise money to help BOL fulfill their mission to feed the hungry, homeless and isolated people in the local communities. There were approximately 35 runners and more than 140 walkers including a few dogs. The men’s winner was James De Luca of Malden crossing the line at a time of 18 minutes 20 seconds and the women’s winner was Liz Emerald of Melrose crossing at 23 minutes 42 seconds. Neighborhood View was informed that both Liz Emerald and Mayor Gary Christenson had participated in an earlier 5K run the same day. This may account for Mayor Christenson’s comment as he crossed the finish line, “There has to be an easier way to raise money.” Free BoL T-shirts were handed out to each registered participant along with plenty of water.  Also provided were sufficient quantities of  healthy snacks, fresh fruit, juice and lots and lots of pizza. BOL provided over 1,030,000 meals last year […]