Reflecting the values of its native Japan, Takeda Pharmaceuticals maintains a polite and modest face to the world, regardless of its position as one of the world’s biggest biopharma companies. In Massachusetts alone, it employs close to 9,000 employees.
Two years ago, Takeda U.S. was given the opportunity to re-imagine how to make philanthropic giving more meaningful and tied more closely to its mission: ‘Better health, brighter future.’
“We decided our focus would be on helping build the social infrastructure for our most vulnerable communities, in health, environment, learning and providing.” explains Chris Barr, Head of U.S. CSR & Philanthropy. ‘Providing’ meant food system equity, and Takeda became the lead sponsor of GBFB’s entire Mobile Market program, with a four-year grant that runs to 2024.
What’s a Mobile Market? A farmer’s-market style food distribution program set up at easily accessible partner sites within high-need communities, often outside, allowing clients to easily ‘shop’ at each table for food—mostly fresh produce, but also dairy products and high-protein items.
Takeda’s sponsorship helps support 33 GBFB Mobile Markets across Eastern Massachusetts serving approximately 10,000 households per month, addressing the needs of a diverse range of targeted audiences. Ten markets—formerly known as the GBFB Brown Bag program—are focused on seniors. Another 10 are community-focused, in which GBFB partners with community colleges, veterans, housing authorities and others. Eight are allied with health centers and produce-focused, such as the CHA Revere program, and five partner with K-12 schools.