Henry and Lisa Chen of Brookline belong to The Greater Boston Food Bank’s (GBFB) Sustainers Circle, a growing group of families and individuals who pledge monthly donations to support our mission to End Hunger Here. They spoke recently about their commitment to our work, and what it means to help those facing hunger in our community.
“My family emigrated from China – first to Vietnam, then to the U.S. – in pursuit of a better life,” noted Henry. “We settled in Boston in the early ‘80s, where my father started what would become a successful chain of grocery stores in Chinatown and Boston’s surrounding area. Food was the family business, and he would always quote a Chinese proverb and say, ‘People take care of their stomach first; you can’t do anything if you’re hungry.’
“So, when we studied how we could give back locally, GBFB was a natural fit as the ‘mother ship’ for hunger relief in the region. If GBFB doesn’t do well, all the food pantries and other local organizations that distribute food won’t either.”
Lisa, who emigrated from Hong Kong to attend Tufts University in the late 1990s, also appreciates that their daughters, 10-year-old Ellie and 7-year-old Stella, are learning the importance of committing to a cause they believe in through the Sustainers Circle.
“Our daughters can relate to this issue because we also participate in their school’s food drive twice a year, to benefit the Brookline Food Pantry,” she explains. “In addition to raising their awareness of the needs of our neighbors, knowing that we donate to GBFB every month is teaching them how they, themselves, can contribute to make a positive difference.”
“That sense of sustained commitment,” adds Henry, “is important for us as a family.”
GBFB’s Sustainers Circle has grown to more than 1,100 individuals and families who pledge monthly gifts to support our work. Their committed generosity allows us to focus on achieving a hunger-free eastern Massachusetts. Last year, Sustainers Circle gifts provided 1.5 million healthy meals to struggling families in our community
Learn more about the Sustainer’s Circle, and the benefits of joining: gbfb.org/sustainers.