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Franklin-based Non-Profit to Use Community Investment Funds to Advance Local Hunger-Relief Efforts
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, awarded $13,831 to Franklin Food Pantry of Franklin, MA to support its ability to combat hunger in the area, bolstering GBFB's network of food agencies and advancing hunger-relief efforts across Eastern Massachusetts in response to an increased need for food in the state.
The annual grant program, originally founded in 2013, pivoted this year to strategically identify and invest in communities facing a heightened need for food. This investment aims to strengthen Franklin Food Pantry's ability to provide nutritious food to the Franklin community.
The grant will be used to fund technology upgrades and supplies for the Franklin Food Pantry's community garden which grows fresh vegetables for the Pantry to distribute to its neighbors.
A GBFB partner, the Franklin Food Pantry provides choice-based shopping to over 1,100 people in the Franklin community. The Pantry offers a unique hybrid model offering its neighbors appointment-based indoor shopping or a curbside distribution. Neighbors can shop weekly. Other programs include weekend backpacks for Franklin school students, home-delivery, mobile pantries, three holiday distributions and a robust community garden.
"We are so grateful to The Greater Boston Food Bank for awarding us the Community Investment grant. Franklin Food Pantry is focused on providing our neighbors with the highest quality of fruits and vegetables is committed to programming that improves our neighbor's quality of life," said Tina Powderly, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry. "Ninety percent of our donations go directly to supporting our neighbors. The GBFB grant enables us to invest in much needed technology to enhance our client service operations and improve our organizational efficiency, enabling our staff and volunteers to spend more time directly assisting our neighbors and fulfilling our mission. We are also grateful for the support to our Community Garden. Our neighbors enjoy receiving freshly grown organic produce each week. The GBFB support is critical as the Community Garden grows into a core Pantry program supporting the overall health of our neighbors."
This grant follows the release of GBFB's second annual report on food insecurity, equity and access in Massachusetts. The study, "Opportunities to Improve Food Equity & Access in Massachusetts," reveals rising rates of food insecurity in the state and sustained disparities in food access for communities of color; with Latinx, Black and LGBTQ+-identifying adults experiencing the highest rates of food insecurity.
"It is solely through collaboration with our network of partner agencies that we are able to address food insecurity across Eastern Massachusetts on such a large scale," said Catherine D'Amato, president and CEO at GBFB. "In response to the sustained inequities in food access, we aim to invest in those communities facing a heightened need for food and drive equitable progress towards hunger relief through strategic grantmaking to our network of partner agencies. As food costs continue to rise nationwide, we look forward to seeing how these funds bolster the Franklin Food Pantry's ability to provide nutritious meals to our neighbors in Franklin.
About the Franklin Food Pantry
The Franklin Food Pantry offers supplemental food assistance and household necessities to almost 1,100 individuals per year. The Franklin Food Pantry is not funded by the Town of Franklin. As a private, nonprofit organization, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other strategic partners. We are grateful for our many partnerships, including that with the Greater Boston Food Bank, that allow us to achieve greater buying power and lower our costs. Donations and grants fund our food purchases, keep our lights on, and put gas in our food truck. Other programs include home delivery, Weekend Backpack Program for Franklin school children in need, mobile pantry, emergency food bags and holiday meal packages. The Pantry is located at 43 W. Central St. in Franklin on Route 140 across from the Franklin Fire Station. Visit www.franklinfoodpantry.org for more information.
About The Greater Boston Food Bank:
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GBFB distributed the equivalent of nearly 97 million meals in fiscal year 2021 through its network of 600 dedicated food distribution partners and programs in the 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts. A member of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network, GBFB's mission is to end hunger here and it is committed to providing at least three healthy meals a day to everyone in need. For more information, visit us at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617.427.5200.
|Community garden harvest at a Franklin Food Pantry distribution|
"Summer is a particularly difficult time for families facing hunger, since kids, teens, and even college students are not receiving regular school meals.Growing Healthy Futures: Sponsored by MathWorks will benefit all of GBFB’s summer children and family hunger relief initiatives, ensuring students have access to enough food during the summer months.MathWorks will generously match all gifts (through 9/30/21), dollar-for-dollar, up to ONE MILLION DOLLARS to multiply our impact! Our collective efforts will sustain and bolster the GBFB network and allow communities most impacted by the pandemic to re-emerge stronger."
Last week, we hosted a presentation on our newly-released report, "Gaps in Food Access in Massachusetts During COVID-19"
To learn about our findings, as well as programmatic and policy recommendations, check out the full presentation: https://t.co/UMi7IhJRrH