$2 million partnership between major Boston-area agencies promotes food security for thousands of hungry low-income households

Source: ABCD
March 22, 2021
Cherrelle Norris 
617.455.7212 (mobile)

Hunger During the Pandemic

Action for Boston Community Development and The Greater Boston Food Bank announce a joint initiative to improve nutrition for families affected by pandemic

Action for Boston Community Development and The Greater Boston Food Bank announce a joint initiative to improve nutrition for families affected by pandemic

Boston, MA – Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) and The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) jointly announced a groundbreaking $2 million initiative today, designed to provide thousands of families affected by COVID-19 with more fresh fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious perishable foods. As experts in the field have noted, the demand for emergency food in Eastern Massachusetts has increased by 66% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus AID, Relief, and Economic Security Act), ABCD will work with GBFB to fund 2.5 million pounds of fresh foods to communities in need through local food pantries, which are affiliated with GBFB. Approximately 260,000 individuals across Greater Boston will benefit over the next 6 months.
ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew and GBFB CEO Catherine D’Amato noted that this innovation builds on decades of partnership between the two organizations, each with deep, grassroots, community collaborations. In February, GBFB served over 172,000 households with over 2.4 million pounds of food throughout its food pantry network, which includes 8 ABCD sites. Over the past year, ABCD provided more than 100,000 households with a wide range of services designed to fight the current emergency, and to equip families with tools to thrive in the future.
“Our doors have been open. We’ve been providing food, diapers, rental assistance, fuel assistance and other emergency help from day one of the pandemic. By expanding this important partnership, the Fresh Foods project will keep hungry people healthier during an already difficult time,” said John J. Drew, ABCD President/CEO. “The need is urgent and our ability to help is immediate.”
“Partnerships are key in the work to end hunger in our communities, and ABCD has been one partner that is essential in GBFB’s COVID-19 response,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO, The Greater Boston Food Bank. “Beyond partnering since 1989 as a pantry food distributor in the Greater Boston area, they have stepped up to provide critical funding to enable GBFB to distribute healthy and nutritious food for all partners in this region during this challenging pandemic.”
The response from communities has been enthusiastic. “ABCD has been a critical partner in keeping folks in Malden, and across the region, housed, fed, and safe throughout the pandemic and long before,” said Representative Steven Ultrino (D – Malden) “I’m incredibly excited about this new collaboration between ABCD and The Greater Boston Food Bank, and look forward to continuing our work with them to ensure that every member of our community can keep food on the table for themselves and their families.”
ABCD and GBFB will also work together to identify barriers to better nutrition for low-income families. Both GBFB and ABCD are committed to seeking durable systems change which will enhance the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the resources struggling families rely on.
“Our families were letting us know that finding food and supplies was becoming more difficult in the grocery stores as COVID got worse,” said Jenny Sugilio, Acting Director at ABCD Parker Hill/Fenway Neighborhood Service Center. “We had to do something about it! No one should be allowed to go hungry.
For more information about this collaboration as well as other services provided by ABCD, visit bostonabcd.org/food-pantries. To learn more about the resources and services provided by The Greater Boston Food Bank, visit gbfb.org.
About ABCD
A non-profit human services community action organization, ABCD provides low income residents in the Boston and Mystic Valley areas with the tools, support and resources they need to transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. Each year, we’ve served more than 100,000 individuals, elders and families through a broad range of innovative initiatives as well as long-established, proven programs and services. For more than 50 years, ABCD has been deeply rooted in every neighborhood and community served, empowering individuals and families and supporting them in their quest to live with dignity and achieve their highest potential. For more, please visit bostonabcd.org.
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 82 million meals in 2020 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 FacebookTwitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617.427.5200.