The Central Food Ministry, Inc. was established in 1994 through the joint effort of a group of Lowell businessmen and The Lutheran Church of The Savior (LCS). LCS is an established Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregation in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Members of LCS were searching for a hands-on social ministry opportunity. They became aware of a pantry in Lowell on the verge of closing. Together with several local businessmen; a new non-profit corporation was formed under the name of Central Food Ministry, Inc. (CFM).

The charter of CFM is to provide food, clothing, and hope to the economically distressed in Lowell and surrounding communities in Middlesex county. 


Lowell is the fourth largest city in the state of Massachusetts. The Church of The Savior is thirteen miles away in Bedford and volunteers from LCS as well as local area Lutheran churches and others from the community staff the pantry. CFM strives to create an atmosphere of hope and encouragement. The volunteers are guided by 1 Corinthians 13:3. They witness to the clients by being cheerful, loving, caring, and encouraging. There are Bibles and Christian materials available for the clients in the reception area.


1998: Purchased their first van which greatly assisted with food pick ups.

1999: Moved to a new building expanding food and clothing distribution and adding Bible study and worship services.

1999-2007: Held weekly Bible studies and worship services.

2000-2007: Lay Minister, Tony Luna, served as Director, overseeing daily operations and providing evangelistic outreach.

2000: Dedicated its new building and began to offer an after-school program.

2001: Added a warehouse enabling larger collections of food and clothing.

2003: Replaced the entire roof as a result of a special one-time grant from the Parker Foundation which covered half the cost and donations from the Lutheran Church of Savior members which covered the other half of the cost. 

2006: Purchased their second van which was greatly needed for food pick ups.


2007: Jude DeHart was hired as part-time Director to oversee daily operations.

2013: Installed a set of raised garden boxes to provide fresh vegetables. 

2018: Jude DeHart retired end of May and Gretchen Gallimore was hired as the new part-time Executive Director to oversee daily operations.

2019: Central Food Ministry  celebrated its 25th anniversary serving Lowell and the surrounding communities.

2020: Gretchen Gallimore resigned  early in 2020  and Carla Byers was hired as part-time Executive Director later that year.

2021:  A replacement van, a new Ford Transit van was purchased using gifts and grant money.

CFM has also purchased refrigeration equipment and improved the facility thanks to financial assistance from generous donors as well as the success of annual golf tournaments held from 2004 through 2014.