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American Red Cross Goes Above and Beyond

Moving one of the largest, twice-weekly food distributions in Boston from indoors to outdoors, without notice, is no small feat. The American Red Cross: Boston Pantry (Red Cross), however, is no ordinary community partner.

When a piece of masonry fell from the ceiling of the pantry, located at 1033 Massachusetts Ave., on April 6, the building was shut down immediately.

“We were steadfast that we weren’t going to close our operation,” said David Andre, Red Cross food and nutrition programs director. Andre heads up the pantry, which serves 1,000 families a week.

Red CrossWith the coordination and cooperation of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) and the city of Boston, the Red Cross managed to run its distributions next door at the Clifford Playground, according to Andre.

The Red Cross held 27 distributions in the park from April to July, serving 12,716 families in need.

“We responded in every way we could to ensure Red Cross pantry clients would go home with as much healthy food as usual throughout the disruption,” said Jonathan Tetrault, GBFB director of distribution services.

Community Partner of the Year

GBFB honored the American Red Cross of Massachusetts with its annual Community Partner of the Year Award at last month’s Partner Appreciation Day event. The Red Cross received the award for going above and beyond in several ways:

  1. Distributing nearly 100,000 pounds of GBFB-provided fresh, seasonal produce during the Thanksgiving holiday period.
  2. Serving nearly one-sixth of the seniors eligible for the federal Commodity Supplemental Food Program for low-income people 60 years of age or older, which GBFB administers in Massachusetts.
  3. Taking over GBFB’s Lynn Mobile Market and locating it in its parking lot when GBFB lost its location in the city.

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