Recent News

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.

Recent News

Volunteers needed to deliver meals in Dracut and Haverhill areas

Media Release January 3, 2023 AgeSpan is seeking drivers and on-call volunteers to support our home-delivered meals program particularly in the areas of Dracut and Greater Haverhill. Volunteers are needed immediately. This is a wonderful way to give back and help...

Resources for holiday meals and more

Many people this season need assistance with food, shelter, and other resources. Please share this information for services in the Merrimack Valley and North Shore compiled with assistance from North Shore Community Action Programs.

Mobile Market featured on WCVB-Channel 5

AgeSpan employees and volunteers, including Food Initiatives Program Manager Ruth Ortiz, were interviewed about our Mobile Food Market as part of WCVB-Channel 5 Boston's Day of Giving, which aired September 22, to benefit The Greater Boston Food Bank.  Our free market...

Award-winning robotic pets program helps dementia patients

By Jill Harmacinski LAWRENCE — Many people love animals and crave the comfort, companionship and loyalty of their own pet. An award-winning local program helps individuals with dementia achieve that without having to feed, pick up after...

AgeSpan to launch its first Mobile Food Market in Lawrence

The market is a collaboration with The Greater Boston Food Bank and Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence This summer, people of all ages will be able to choose from a wide variety of produce and other foods at the new AgeSpan Mobile Market in Lawrence. AgeSpan partnered...

Resize text-+=