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Community partnerships ensure Haverhill seniors receive critical Brown Bag program
May 4, 2022

AgeSpan’s Ruth Ortiz with Gerry Marchand of AMVETS Post 147, the site of Haverhill’s monthly brown bag distribution.

AgeSpan employees rely on the help of volunteers and community organizations to make sure older adults in communities like Haverhill get the programs and services they need to stay safe and healthy at home.

We want to commend Haverhill’s American Veterans Post 147 for their critical help with our monthly Elder Brown Bag program. AMVETS Post 147 provides a large space free of charge for the Brown Bag distribution in Haverhill, which is done in cooperation with the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Haverhill residents and organizations, including the Lions Club, Haverhill Council on Aging, and Haverhill Housing, volunteer to pack and distribute the “brown bags” with groceries each month. They are given out to income-eligible adults aged 60 and older

“Thanks to AMVETS and all of the volunteers we are able to distribute more than 400 bags of groceries to older adults every month in Haverhill,” said AgeSpan CEO Joan Hatem-Roy. “This type of community partnership is invaluable to making sure people’s needs are met.”

The Brown Bag program fills the food gap for many older adults in Haverhill and surrounding communities who rely on these volunteers to ensure everything is prepared, said Hatem-Roy. The Post’s Gerry Marchand is always on site with the hall unlocked and ready to go by 7 a.m. every month. He stays on site to help out and always lets AgeSpan employees use whatever is needed, including the use of the post dumpster for recycling.

During COVID, the AMVETS’ Hall was closed so the group wasn’t able to generate any revenue, yet they allowed AgeSpan to use the hall and keep the Brown Bag program going. It is organizations like Post 147 that help our agency continues to provide for local residents every day.

To learn more about the Elder Brown Bag program, visit or call 800-892-0890.

About AgeSpan

AgeSpan, formerly known as Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore, is a private, nonprofit agency dedicated to helping people in northeast Massachusetts maintain the highest level of independence, health, and safety as they age. AgeSpan is a Massachusetts Aging Services Access Point and an Area Agency on Aging. For more, information about AgeSpan and its services, visit or call 800-892-0890.

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