A priority of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is to promote healthy lives and healthy communities. Currently, 25% of our annual 51 million pound distribution is fresh produce, and we are committed to increasing that to 35%.
To support this priority, we are helping our member agencies increase their storage and distribution capacities for the fresh foods they receive from GBFB through our Capacity Grant Initiative. Through Capacity Grants, member agency grantees can use funds to improve their infrastructure and reach in areas such as refrigeration, storage and transportation. In 2015, over 35 member agencies benefitted from our capacity grants.
The Greater Boston Food Bank received funds for a Capacity Grant through a partnership with Feeding America and BJ’s Charitable Foundation. We turned to one of our top member agencies, Bread of Life, to help them expand their capacity for distribution to clients.
Already, Bread of Life distributes almost 1.5 million meals annually while maintaining the highest standards in food safety, equal access, and community engagement. After reviewing barriers to expand Bread of Life’s four programs – two pantries, a mobile market, and a meal program – the agency determined that transportation would be the best investment, as they were relying on one van for all food transportation. An additional van would enable them pick up more perishable product such as fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins from local food producers, retailers and farmer’s markets.
Tom Feagley, Executive Director of Bread of Life, illustrated how the grant has impacted the community in Malden. “The capacity grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation has made a palatable, positive, impact on Bread of Life’s ability to serve our community. We work to serve the hungry, homeless, needy and isolated, and we rely on support from our funders to make this possible. The van provided by BJ’s Charitable Foundation has increased our ability to access and distribute healthy food to our constituents. We are hugely grateful for the work of our partners and for their commitment to vulnerable members of our community.”
BJ’s Charitable Foundation, a longtime supporter of GBFB’s mission to End Hunger Here, also funded two more agency grants, in addition to the capacity grant for Bread of Life. The grant exemplifies the continued investment that companies like BJ’s make to strategically invest in local social-service organizations that have a proven ability to enact positive change in their communities.
— GBFB (@Gr8BosFoodBank) October 17, 2014
”By providing dedicated agencies, including Bread of Life, with resources they desperately need to grow, we were able to be part of the solution when it comes to ensuring vulnerable populations receive needed food,” said Jessica Newman, Assistant Vice President, Communications & Community Affairs, BJ’s Wholesale Club.
GBFB extends our gratitude to BJ’s Charitable Foundation for their investment in increasing the capacity of our partner agencies, and to Bread of Life for their continued dedication to help End Hunger Here. To learn more about GBFB or to donate, please visit www.GBFB.org.
— GBFB (@Gr8BosFoodBank) July 22, 2015