Nearly $400,000 in Community Investment Grants will be awarded to 22 hunger relief organizations in 19 communities across Eastern Massachusetts. As food need and costs continue to rise across the state, this annual grantmaking initiative is more essential than ever to strengthen its service network and fund investments made by GBFB partner agencies to expand their services, increase capacity, and deliver healthy food to those in need.
The program, originally founded in 2013 as the Capacity Expansion Grant program, was renamed this year to better represent GBFB’s ongoing, targeted investment into the communities most in need of additional food assistance. These 22 grants represent only the first round of funding this year with additional grants expected to be announced later this summer that will bring GBFB’s total support of our network to $850,000.
This year’s grants came with a concerted effort to incorporate partner organizations’ input, identify specific needs around capacity and SNAP usage, and ensure the investments drive equitable and actionable results. Also new to this year’s program is $100,000 in organizational funding, consisting of one-time grants for new operational costs that increase agency capacity such as staff compensation and administrative needs.
“In its eighth year, this program continues to evolve to better meet the specific needs of our partner agencies and the communities they serve,” said Catherine D’Amato, GBFB President and CEO. “By investing in our essential partner agencies through grantmaking, we aim to empower and equip them to dream bigger about the impact they can have in driving out hunger across Eastern Massachusetts.”
“By investing in our essential partner agencies through grantmaking, we aim to empower and equip them to dream bigger about the impact they can have in driving out hunger across Eastern Massachusetts.”
The grants follow the release of GBFB’s second annual report on food insecurity, equity and access in Massachusetts. The study, “Opportunities to Improve Food Equity & Access in Massachusetts,” reveals rising rates of food insecurity in the state, estimating that 32 percent of adults experienced food insecurity in 2021. The study also highlights sustained disparities and barriers in food access for communities of color, with Latinx and Black adults experiencing the highest rates of food insecurity.
The survey’s results informed this year’s strategic grantmaking, leading GBFB to prioritize agencies serving communities of color, which have faced disproportionate rates of hunger since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the severe need for increased food resources in these areas, 16 of the 22 grants made were awarded to agencies serving communities of color, according to the American Community Survey.
“Equity must remain a priority as we look towards the future of hunger relief efforts,” said Jonathan Tetrault, Vice President of Community Impact. “As our research shows, our neighbors across Eastern Massachusetts, particularly those of color and the LGBTQ+ community, continue to struggle to make ends meet as food costs are rising faster than they have in over 40 years. We remain hopeful about the impact our continued grantmaking efforts will have in supporting our essential network of partners and easing the burden of food insecurity.”
2022 Grant Awardees:
A Place to Turn, Natick
Bedford Community Table Pantry, Bedford
Billerica Food Pantry, Billerica
Boston Missionary Baptist Community Center, Inc., Boston*
Centre Street Food Pantry, Newton*
Charity Guild Food Pantry, Brockton
Franklin Food Pantry, Franklin
Hockomock Area YMCA, North Attleboro
MGH Revere HealthCare Center, Revere
NIC/Nantucket Emergency Food Pantry, Nantucket
Old Colony YMCA, Stoughton*
Our Daily Bread, Taunton
P.A.C.E. Inc./Emergency Food Pantry, New Bedford
Project Just Because, Hopkinton
Rose’s Bounty, West Roxbury
Rosie’s Place/Pantry, Boston
Selah Day Resource Center, Chelsea
USCC/Christ the King, Mashpee
Veteran’s Assoc. of Bristol County, Inc., Fall River
Voice of Tabernacle Multiservice Center, Mattapan
Wellspring Multi-Service Pantry, Hull
YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston
* = Recipient of organizational funding