The generosity of our donors throughout this crisis has been overwhelming, providing us critical financial support so we can put food on the table for the growing number of people in need across Eastern Massachusetts.
Never has this been more evident than during the week of April 27, when The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) partnered with WCVB Channel 5 for our most successful fundraising event ever.
From April 27 through May 3, WCVB hosted its Project CommUNITY: 5×5 fundraiser to benefit GBFB. Throughout the week, WCVB aired stories featuring our programs, our partner food pantries, and the people we serve.
By the end of the week, more than 31,000 people donated online, over the phone or via text. All told, we raised more than $3 million, enough to help us provide 9 million healthy meals to our neighbors in need.
The WCVB fundraiser was quickly followed by #GivingTuesdayNow and a one-day radiothon on local Entercom radio stations, 103 AMP Radio, Magic 106.7, Mix 104.1 and WEEI, which collectively raised enough for an additional 330,000 meals.
This outpouring of support is both appreciated and vital to our operation as we see historic increases in unemployment and the demand for food.
Our spending is focused on four key areas:
Food: Since the onset of COVID-19, the demand for food has risen by over 50 percent and our distribution keeps growing. April was our largest month ever, as we distributed more than 9.5 million pounds of food across our hunger-relief network. That topped our 8.1-million-pound distribution in March, which was then the highest one-month total in the 40-year history of GBFB.
Our Team: Just like all essential businesses, GBFB is dependent on our front-line workers. We have put incentives into place such as daily bonuses and additional hazard pay for our warehouse workers and truck drivers—without whom our operation cannot function.
Our Network: The Greater Boston Food Bank is only as effective as our hunger-relief partners. We have always invested in the more than 500 food pantries, meal programs and emergency shelters that make up our hunger-relief network, and we have increased the amount of financial support we’re providing to help them acquire the equipment and resources needed to meet the growing number of people seeking help.
Our Facility: We have invested significantly in maintaining the cleanliness and safety of our facility for our team and partner agencies. We are spending significantly more on cleaning services, supplies, PPE, signage and other items to keep the building clean and safe.
The duration and scope of this crisis is unknown, but we are here for the long haul. With your support we’ll continue to meet the need. We are in this together, and together we will end hunger in Eastern Massachusetts.