GBFB Member Agency Highlight – Weymouth Food Pantry
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Innovation is what The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) strives for and we aspire to help all of our 550 member agencies to think creatively when faced with a problem or transition. Here is an example of one of our member agencies doing just that:When the Weymouth Food Pantry, which serves 450-600 families each month, learned that its headquarters of 28 years was being sold, the organization sprang into action to find a solution that would preserve their high quality and critical service to community members in need. Yet, finding space with the right operational requirements in an expensive real estate market proved to be challenging. Looking to think “outside the box,” they turned to GBFB. The Weymouth Food Pantry receives most of its food from GBFB, including weekly truckloads of fresh produce, proteins, and other high-nutrient foods. GBFB relies on the smooth operation and capacity of our member agencies like Weymouth to support our strategic objective of providing One Meal A Day to every individual facing hunger in Eastern Massachusetts. Weymouth is now reaching 85% of that goal, and GBFB was determined to help so that their amazing progress would not decline. GBFB worked with Weymouth Food Pantry’s leadership on a strategic operational re-design aimed to increase the pantry’s reach and impact. GBFB’s Agency Relations Team shared best practices and connected the organization with peers to learn about different distribution models. As a result, the Weymouth Food Pantry decided to transition from serving families from a single building location to operating mobile markets through a series of weekly “pop-up” pantries at different community sites. Sites would be selected using GBFB’s mapping technologies to identify areas with the highest food insecurity rates. To help make the project happen, GBFB awarded a capacity building grant of $4,215 and assisted in applying for a grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation to purchase the new trucks needed to transport food from their new, off-site warehouse to each pop-up pantry site. The new operational model is expected to increase Weymouth Food Pantry’s annual total food distribution by 25%. “We reached out to the GBFB during a challenging time of transition for our organization and were met with encouragement, skill, and the financial assistance we needed to make high-impact change in our community,” recounts Cas Casados, Executive Director of Weymouth Food Pantry. “Our new mobile operation will grow over the next three years to bring food to the farthest corners of our small city, where many people have limited to no access to transportation.” To learn more and find a member agency near you click here.