Aug 2, 2021

Generosity is one Key Component to a Healthy Diet

As well as receiving, Pedro volunteers at Damien's
As well as receiving, Pedro volunteers at Damien's

Pedro and his family came to the Southcoast area from Puerto Rico 12 years ago. Here they found a warm and welcoming community with a multilingual church. It was the perfect place for Pedro and his wife Maria to raise their three children.

While full of wonderful new opportunities, life here has not been without its challenges. In recent years, both Pedro and Maria have been dealing with medical issues that prevent them from working. Not having enough healthy food to eat quickly became a serious concern.

Fortunately, Pedro’s family can always count on generous friends like you. By giving to The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), you enable us to support a network of more than 600 local partner agencies, including Damien’s Place, a food pantry and community resource center in East Wareham.

“Thank God for the big family at the pantry!” Maria says, smiling brightly. “We receive bread, meat, potatoes, carrots, canned soup, bananas, cheese—everything we need, at the holidays and all year long!”

Pedro can barely contain his gratitude as he adds, “The food is beautiful, the pantry is beautiful, the whole team is just beautiful!”

In fact, Pedro is so inspired by the kindness he receives that he volunteers at Damien’s Place every other Saturday morning. He helps set up for the distributions and delivers food boxes to members of his church who don’t have access to transportation.

“Everybody is like my family here,” he beams.

This is the real impact of your gifts to GBFB: You help forge connections that change lives—and strengthen our entire community. Thank you for your dedication to ending hunger across Eastern Massachusetts!

Pedro distributes Family Meal Boxes at Damien's Pl
Pedro distributes Family Meal Boxes at Damien's Pl

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Jul 19, 2021

Filling Our Neighbors' Plates

Longtime Southcoast resident Maria is a proud great-grandmother and very independent woman. She lives alone and works hard to make ends meet on her Social Security benefit. But at her age, medical bills can be a tremendous burden, and her insurance copays often exhaust her modest income.

“At the end of the month, there’s just not a lot of money left for food,” Maria shares.

It’s a situation many seniors in our community face. In the golden years of lives well lived, they should be able to enjoy quality time with their family and friends. Instead, many are racked with worry because their fixed income doesn’t cover the basics.

“Will I eat today, or should I pay the electric bill?” Our older neighbors face impossible choices like these every day.

Fortunately, friends like you are there to make a difference. Thanks to you, Maria is able to visit a Mobile Market operated by our partners at YMCA Southcoast as part of their Full Plate Project. 

Here, Maria receives fresh fruits and vegetables, along with a wide variety of other nutritious food to last her through the end of the month.

“I like everything I get,” Maria shares. “What I don’t use right away, I freeze for later.”

Just as important, Maria feels truly welcome every time she visits. “Everyone is so nice and so willing to help,” she smiles.

And to friends like you, who help ease her worry and end her hunger, Maria says: “Thank you for what you’re doing. It’s a huge help. Between going to the different distributions, I get everything I need!”

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Apr 6, 2021

A gift lifts people in need, especially seniors

Donated packages of bison, March 24, 2021
Donated packages of bison, March 24, 2021

 

When the demand for food skyrocketed across Eastern Massachusetts, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) stepped up to provide for those in need, especially those most acutely affected by this pandemic—our seniors.

Through our network of partner food pantries, GBFB has served roughly double the number of seniors during this pandemic than at the same time last year.

“As we know, seniors are an extremely vulnerable group and many are scared to leave their homes. I’ve really been impressed by our program partners who have stayed open and found creative ways to serve their clients safely,” said GBFB Assistant Director of Programs and Community Capacity Christina Peretti.

Christina oversees GBFB’s direct distribution programs, including our program designed specifically to serve seniors—the GBFB Brown Bag program. GBFB works with 13 different sites in Eastern Massachusetts to deliver monthly grocery bags to seniors. This spring, we saw a 21 percent increase in the amount of food we were distributing at these distributions and a 67 percent increase in the number of clients served, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Your generous gift helps us meet the need for our most vulnerable residents. 

Like many seniors living on a fixed income, Dinora struggles to keep enough food in her cupboard, especially when trying to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A retired teacher, Dinora lives alone at the Julia Martin House, an apartment complex for seniors in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Massachusetts in early 2020, the building, like many others, went into lockdown.

“We had to stay only in our rooms at the beginning of COVID. I didn’t see anyone for a month,” Dinora said. “A lot of the people here don’t get outside at all to go shopping for food or anything.”

As the need for food in Eastern Massachusetts dramatically grew due to the pandemic, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) began looking for new distribution methods and partners who could distribute large amounts of food to the community.

We began working with partners like the city of Boston, to directly distribute 20-pound boxes of fresh healthy food and some shelf-stable items to vulnerable residents across the city, including at senior housing complexes like the Julia Martin House.

“This food is so helpful. It’s good and I can save some money,” said Dinora. “I get all kinds of fruits and vegetables, it’s about a week’s worth of food.”

With food insecurity on the rise across the country because of the pandemic, estimates show that food insecurity rates have increased more in Massachusetts than in any other state.

GBFB is distributing more food now than ever before in our 40-year history. Because of your generous support, we can continue getting healthy food and basic staples to people like Dinora, and all our neighbors struggling with hunger. 

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