Her Fifth Holiday Meal Drive and Growing

Published on November 20, 2017
Bella won this year’s Nally Award, which GBFB presents to a young person who has acted to end hunger in their community.

Every winter, 13-year-old Bella fills her basement with boxes and cans of food, ready to be donated to The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB).

Bella has organized a holiday food drive and fundraiser out of her family home in Dedham for the past five years. She was inspired as an 8-year-old, when she saw a TV show about people renovating a soup kitchen to feed those struggling with hunger.

“That made me think, ‘wow, I can’t believe there are people who don’t have food’,” Bella said.

She enlisted the help of family and friends and collected 189 pounds of food her first year, which she donated to local food pantries. The number of donations grew each winter as word of her food drive spread through her school, St. Theresa of Avila in West Roxbury, and on social media.

By 2015, Bella needed to find an organization with the capacity to accept all her donations, instead of having to travel to multiple pantries. That’s when she became involved with GBFB.

Last winter, Bella dropped off 1,154 pounds of food and $1,369 in financial contributions, which together provided the equivalent of over 5,000 healthy meals for people struggling with hunger in our area.

“I’m very fortunate to have food on my table at home,” Bella said. “Everybody deserves to eat, so it makes me want to get out there year after year.”

Be Like Bella

Everyone can help provide for the 1 in 10 people in Eastern Massachusetts who doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Donate to our Holiday Meal Drive, which will help us distribute 12 million healthy meals this holiday season—our busiest time of year.

Your $20 donation will provide a nutritious holiday meal for a family of five.

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