A Publication of The Greater Boston Food Bank
Mobile Markets Help Families LOUISA'S STORY
inside harvest: 1
Mobile Markets Help Families: Louisa's Story
3 School-based Pantries Meet the Growing Need 3 Join GBFB to Advocate for MEFAP 4
Gold Medal Bakery Helps End Hunger
Top Area Chefs & Restaurants Cook Up Support for GBFB
Shire “Shares a Ton” to End Hunger Here
6 WAAF DJs Rise Up Against Hunger 6
MetLife Foundation Provides More Meals
Falmouth Service Center Addresses Growing Need
The Greater Boston Food Banquet Returns: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Run to End Hunger
Copyright © 2013 The Greater Boston Food Bank.
When she read the flyer about The Greater Boston Food Bank’s (GBFB) new mobile food distribution at the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office in Malden, Louisa was excited to see that fresh produce and proteins would be offered. A working mother who is struggling through a divorce, she has been finding it harder and harder to pay all her monthly bills and still afford enough healthy food for her four children. “The flyer said there would be no canned food, and the food distribution would be set up like a market where I choose which foods I want,” she recalled. “I’ve been reaching out for help during the transition to becoming a single mom, and this sounded different. Like something special.” When she arrived at the mobile food market, held in the WIC parking lot, it exceeded her expectations. There she found fresh meat, as well as healthy produce, including sweet potatoes, beets and spinach. “I hadn’t had beets in years,” she beamed. “My kids loved them!” Louisa returns each month for several bags of groceries filled with fresh fruits, as well as vegetables, and a variety of proteins, including beef, chicken and tofu, along with staples such as rice, pasta, bread, and milk.
“It definitely makes a difference,” she said. “Money is always tight, but now more than ever. I don’t have a choice about paying the rent or the heating bill, so cutting my food budget is the only option. Cheaper food is usually less healthy. At the GBFB market, I can make sure my kids are getting fresh vegetables and meat, which we wouldn’t have otherwise.” Louisa’s experience at the WIC mobile market goes beyond the food she receives. “I see so many families just like mine there,” she explained. “It’s overwhelming to see the level of need. “The staff and volunteers at the GBFB mobile market are genuinely happy to help,” she concludes. “It makes me thankful for something like this. It makes me feel there are people out there who care and who understand.”
Meeting the Challenge of Ending Hunger Dear Friends, Our economy’s slow recovery means that too many of our neighbors in eastern Massachusetts are still facing hunger. Even people who are working full-time are finding it hard to afford the food they need to feed themselves and their families. These days, all of us know someone who is struggling, whether it’s a family member, co-worker or friend. They are like Louisa, a hardworking single parent who was having a difficult time paying all of her bills, and had been cutting back on her food budget. The two bags of groceries she receives at The Greater Boston Food Bank’s (GBFB) monthly mobile market in Malden — including fresh vegetables and fruits — are helping her four children get the nutrient-rich food they need to stay active and healthy. GBFB is responding to greater need by expanding direct food distribution programs like the one in Malden. We are adding to the number of our School-based Pantries, in partnership with area public schools where most students qualify for free or reducedprice meals. The program brings a truckload of food into these schools each month, and offers it to families in a farmers’ market environment so parents can choose the foods that are best for their children. As we work harder to meet the growing need, GBFB is also contending with other challenging trends. Food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – which once accounted for a quarter of the food distributed by GBFB – has been cut through federal budget reductions by 35 percent in recent years. At the same time, increased commodity prices for crops impacted by the country’s record heat and drought mean that food prices overall will increase by 3-4 percent this year. As a consequence, we expect even more families will find it harder to get by. They, too, will be reaching out for our help. GBFB is fiercely committed to ending hunger in our community. In the face of decreasing federal support and rapidly rising food prices we can only succeed with the extraordinary generosity of our donors.
Your support is critically important. Thank you for joining with GBFB to end hunger here. Sincerely,
Catherine D’Amato President and CEO
Raise Your Voice
School-based Pantries Meet the Growing Need For the past several years, the William P. Connery School in Lynn — where more than 90% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals — has partnered with The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) through the BackPack Program. Twice each month, 385 young students have been receiving a “backpack” filled with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food to ensure they have enough to eat on weekends and holidays when they can’t depend on school meals to avoid hunger. “It’s a neighborhood school, with a diverse population and parents who are very involved,” notes GBFB Program Manager, Joyce MacDonald. “As part of their leadership learning, the Student Council of 4th and 5th graders helps distribute the food packs to the K through 2nd graders in the program.” With such a committed and supportive partner, GBFB was recently able to introduce a monthly School-based Pantry at the Connery School to provide food to every family in need. GBFB delivers a truckload of food to the school, where it is set up on tables in the style of a farmers' market. Parents can choose from a diverse selection of fresh produce and dairy products, as well as frozen meat and other high-protein items. The Connery School-based Pantry takes place at the end of the school day so teachers are able to volunteer to help run it. “Connery teachers see the Pantry as another touch-point with families,” explains MacDonald. “It brings parents into the school in a welcoming and positive community atmosphere.
“The need is so great, and we have wonderful school partners,” she continues. “That’s why we’re expanding our School-based Pantries to more and more schools. This year, we’re adding at least two more school sites, which means the program will be serving close to 1,600 struggling families every month.” Currently, GBFB School-based Pantries are held monthly at four schools in eastern Massachusetts, including: James W. Hennigan Elementary School in Jamaica Plain, James Condon Elementary School in South Boston, William Monroe Trotter School in Dorchester, and the William P. Connery School in Lynn. This spring, we’ll add the 800-student Orchard Garden Elementary School in Roxbury, and another school (to be determined) in the fall.
Join GBFB to Advocate for MEFAP This spring, join with GBFB and reach out to Massachusetts government leaders to urge them to increase FY 2014 funding for food purchases under the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program, or MEFAP. With federal USDA-provided food in recent decline by 35%, the nutritious foods provided by MEFAP are needed more than ever by the Commonwealth’s pantries, meal programs and shelters, which receive most of their food from GBFB and other food banks in the state. In addition, rising food prices mean that MEFAP funds to purchase nutritious food aren’t going as far, and can’t keep pace with growing need. Today, one in nine people in eastern Massachusetts faces hunger on a regular basis. For children, that figure is as many as one in four. Specifically, we’re advocating that FY 2014 funding for food purchases under MEFAP (DAR 2511-0105) be increased to $15 million, and that funding for the MEFAP administrative line item remain at $1 million.
GBFB.org/advocate to learn more
VISIT .org to learn more about the School-based Pantry program, and how you can help.
Gold Medal Bakery Helps End Hunger
Top Area Chefs & Restaurants Cook Up Support for GBFB
The family-owned Gold Medal Bakery (GMB) has been baking and distributing high quality breads, muffins and rolls from its Fall River headquarters since 1912. Like many local food producers, GMB partners with The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to donate excess or miss-wrapped products for distribution to people facing hunger in eastern Massachusetts. The partnership has evolved and grown significantly in recent years. Today, GBFB trucks arrive to pick up a variety of highnutrient bread products twice each week.
“GMB has a long tradition of donating its products to local nonprofit organizations of all sizes, and we continue to do that,” noted Ed Frazer, Administrative Sales Manager at GMB, and principal liaison with GBFB’s food acquisition team. “But GBFB’s greater size and capacity allow us to increase our support by streamlining the donation process through a single location.” GMB’s generous twice weekly donations also enable GBFB to better serve both the member agencies that pick up their orders, and those we deliver to through our food drop program. Cheryl Powers, GBFB Product Donations Manager, explains, “Those that pick up at our Yawkey Distribution Center can select bread products as part of their perishable product selection. Those agencies that order their food to be delivered by GBFB now have consistent access to staples that are so important to the individuals and families they serve.” “Strong partnerships with local food producers such as Gold Medal Bakery are essential to GBFB’s ability to address the growing problem of hunger in our communities,” stresses Catherine D’Amato, GBFB’s President and CEO. “It’s a win-win for all of us, and we are truly grateful for their commitment and generosity.”
On January 26 and 27, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) teamed up with twenty-one of the area’s celebrated chefs and restaurants to raise awareness and support to end hunger in eastern Massachusetts. The thirty-first annual “Super Hunger Brunch” offered pre-set menus at twenty-one local restaurants for a $25, $35, or $50. Over 1,500 guests enjoyed delicious brunch fare and contributed more than $60,000 for GBFB. GBFB’s Culinary Committee (opposite page) spearheaded the weekend-long fundraising event. Generous in-kind donations were also provided by Garelick Farms, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Cold River Vodka and DIAGEO. Boston magazine was the exclusive media sponsor of Super Hunger Brunch. “Chefs, restaurateurs, purveyors, and other members of the food community are among our most compassionate and consistent supporters,” noted Catherine D’Amato, GBFB’s President and CEO. “The annual Super Hunger Brunch is a tribute to their generosity. We are so grateful for their time, their talents and their commitment.”
Shire “Shares a Ton” to End Hunger Here Three years ago, Shire employees launched an annual, month-long food drive to benefit The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). The “Shire Shares a Ton” campaign began with a goal of collecting 2,000 pounds of food during November. The following year, Shire increased employee participation by introducing a friendly competition between work groups to see who could collect the most food – resulting in two and a half tons of food donations! This past November, “Shire Shares a Ton” expanded even further to become a competition between the company’s various offices, including a “Food and Fund Drive” which allows online financial contributions as well as food donations. “Our success in 2011 was a bit of a surprise,” said James O’Leary, who is based in Shire’s Cambridge office. “So, when we’d collected enough food and money to donate ten thousand pounds of food during the first week of 2012’s drive, it was pretty amazing. We also had a couple of bake sales that did ridiculously well. One group held a luncheon that pulled in $1,400.” By the end of November 2012, Shire employees had held the largest single-company Food and Fund Drive in GBFB history. Almost $27,000 was raised (enough to purchase 80,000 pounds of food), and another 2,000 pounds of food was donated. Shire’s 82,000 pounds of food — equal to 41 tons! — enabled GBFB to distribute enough food to provide over 67,000 meals to those in need. Empowering employees to become actively involved with organizations like GBFB is part of Shire’s culture. Employees
are given one full day each year to volunteer with a community organization of their choice. Shire employees first volunteered with GBFB in 2007, and continue to deepen their engagement. Over the years, 122 employees have volunteered 336 hours at GBFB. Shire is also an annual supporter of GBFB’s Greater Boston Food Banquet, and Shire HGT President, Dr. Sylvie Gregoire, has served on GBFB’s Board of Directors.
“GBFB’s work really resonates with Shire employees,” concluded O’Leary. “Right after we completed last year’s drive, people were already planning for 2013. Maybe we should rename the drive, ‘Shire Shares 50 Tons!’”
2013 GBFB Culinary Committee:
/superhungerbrunch for more information and to view event photos.
Jody Adams Chef-Owner Rialto, Trade
Mary Dumont Executive Chef Harvest Restaurant
Frank McClelland Chef and CEO New France
Paul O’Connell Chef-Owner Chez Henri
Gordon Hamersley Chef-Owner Hamersley's Bistro
Ming Tsai Chef-Owner Blue Ginger
Tony Maws Chef-Owner Craigie on Main
Brooke Vosika Executive Chef Four Seasons Hotel Boston The Bristol Lounge
WAAF DJs Rise Up Against Hunger For three cold days in December, WAAF DJs held their annual fundraising event to benefit The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). Lyndon “LB” Byers and Anthony “Spaz” Parziale of 97.7/107.3 WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show followed their tradition of accepting highly public physical challenges to call attention to the growing problem of hunger in eastern Massachusetts. This year, the DJs rose up 60 feet on boom cranes and refused to come down until their listeners called in contributions to support GBFB’s work to end hunger. The campaign, “Rise Up Against Hunger,” raised over $80,000, enough to provide 190,000 meals to our neighbors in need.
Greg Hill, host of the Hill-Man Morning Show, was on air throughout the event to provide live updates. Callers had to “pay to play” their favorite songs, with requests starting at $50. Requests for more obscure songs required larger donations, with some going for several hundred dollars. The Dropkick Murphys also came by the radio station for an exclusive in-studio concert, with tickets priced at $100.
MetLife Foundation Provides More Meals MetLife is a long-standing partner of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), providing financial support since 1993. The corporation’s support increased with the launch of the MetLife Food Bank Initiative, created in 2008 to help local food banks meet growing needs. This year, GBFB is one of 13 food banks around the country awarded a grant under the initiative. “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have MetLife and MetLife Foundation as strong supporters for so long,” remarked Catherine D’Amato, President and CEO of GBFB. “Each year, they have been increasingly generous. MetLife Foundation’s latest grant of $75,000 will enable us to distribute enough food to provide 177,000 meals for individuals and families in need in eastern Massachusetts.”
In announcing the grant, Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation, noted,
“Promoting healthy and strong communities is a cornerstone of MetLife Foundation’s work. Food banks like The Greater Boston Food Bank are often on the front lines in the fight against hunger. They play a vital role in meeting basic needs and providing critical services for the most vulnerable residents in our community.” MetLife employees have also volunteered at GBFB. During their last visit, a group sorted 5,500 pounds of food for distribution to families facing hunger. MetLife employees have also contributed both money and food to GBFB through Food and Fund Drives. “Corporate partners like MetLife and MetLife Foundation are critical to GBFB’s ability to respond to increased hunger in our communities,” concluded D’Amato. “We are grateful for their leadership and commitment to ending hunger here.”
Falmouth Service Center Addresses Growing Need The Falmouth Service Center (FSC), an agency partner of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), has recently completed a renovation of its food pantry and kitchen facilities that significantly expands and enhances its capacity to help community members facing hunger. Serving those in need in Falmouth and Mashpee, the FSC food pantry is now larger and reorganized to improve the flow of the distribution process, and allow clients more choice in the foods they receive. FSC’s new commercial kitchen allows for preparation of community meals and meals for home delivery, and also enables nutrition and vocation training.
“Our food pantry is a major component of the Falmouth Service Center,” notes its Executive Director, Brenda Swain. “The renovation was designed to be open and welcoming as well as more efficient. Clients can choose which foods they want from a large variety of healthy options, and the new floor plan makes it easier for our dedicated volunteers to be helpful.”
“Our new ovens and refrigeration units open up our ability to prepare and freeze meals that can be delivered to clients, such as homebound seniors,” she adds. “The kitchen upgrade also allows us to offer training, such as our ServSafe program, that prepares graduates for jobs in restaurants and area organizations with food services.” At least half of the food FSC distributes, either through the pantry or as prepared meals, comes from GBFB. Clients who visit the pantry may choose the dairy, meat, fresh vegetables and bread products they prefer, and work with volunteers to receive staples, such as pasta, rice and canned soups. Each family is provided with enough food per visit to prepare about a week’s meals for themselves and their families. In 2012, GBFB provided approximately 302,000 pounds of food to FSC, enough to provide more than 230,000 meals.
“FSC is serving a population that struggles with the higher costs of living on upper Cape Cod where the slow economy has meant greater un- and under-employment,” explained Catherine D’Amato, GBFB President and CEO. “We applaud their expanded efforts to make a difference in the lives of families in need. Together, we’re helping to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community receive enough nutritious food to stay healthy and active.”
Run to End Hunger
The Greater Boston Food Banquet Returns: Thursday, April 25, 2013 Each year, The Greater Boston Food Banquet brings together 500 of GBFB’s most dedicated supporters to raise critical financial support to help end hunger in eastern Massachusetts. Banquet guests are given a first-hand view of our 117,000 square foot food distribution facility, where our shipping docks and food storage racks are transformed into an event space for dinner. This year’s Banquet Chairs are Joshua Boger, Ph.D., Founder and former CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Executive Chairman of Alkeus Pharmaceuticals, and his wife, Amy Boger, M.D., a ceramic artist. Under their leadership, GBFB hopes to raise $1 million – enough to provide more than two million meals to those facing hunger in our community.
Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:30pm – 9:00pm
The Greater Boston Food Bank’s Yawkey Distribution Center 70 South Bay Avenue, Boston, MA 02118 Banquet sponsorship opportunities range from $10,000 to $100,000, and come with a variety of partner benefits. Please contact Carrie Clark at cclark@GBFB.org or 617.598.5084 to learn more.
Several dedicated marathon runners will support The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) during the 2013 Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day, April 15, to raise awareness of hunger, as well as much-needed funding to help end hunger in eastern Massachusetts.
GBFB.org/marathon to learn how you can sponsor this year’s runners.