We’ll Give You What You Want

Published on August 31, 2023

GBFB’s Community Investment Grants Program has helped strengthen GBFB’s network of partners in 136 cities and towns for the last decade. Among those recipients is GBFB partner PACE, Inc., whose food program serves 800 to 1,000 people a week in the Greater New Bedford area. 

Interior of PACE's new food pantry.
PACE has been helping the Greater New Bedford community since 1982 in many ways, including operating its new Community Food Center on New Bedford’s Park Street, open Monday through Friday. Photo courtesy of PACE staff.

Founded in 1982, PACE—short for People Acting in Community Endeavors—runs more than 10 programs tackling challenges faced by people with low income. A recipient of GBFB grants since 2019, it has applied the funding to infrastructure upgrades—a refrigerated truck, pallet jacks, and most recently—building renovations to support a new food distribution model—helping them to distribute more food and serve more clients.  

We chose, perhaps, the worst—or best—day to catch up with Executive Director Pam Kuechler and Kathleen Golden, Director of Development and Marketing. Just that morning, PACE had opened their brand-new pantry, years in the making. During the transition they moved to a grocery-style pantry, which we often refer to as client choice. “Previously, we just gave bags,” she explains. “Our patrons were so grateful to see this beautiful space that we spent two years getting ready for them.”  

Better yet, she adds, “It really helps us to stretch the food, because people will be picking out things they want.” She reflects for a moment. 

“It sends a message,” she says. “We’ll give you what you want.” 

At PACE, Keuchler reports, GBFB has played a “critical role” through its support. “We had to ramp up, finding better space for our food pantry where we could better serve more people in a more dignified way.”  

“It’s really had a huge impact.” 

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