FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Greater Boston Food Bank Statement on USDA Announcement of Nearly $1.5 Billion in New Investments in Hunger Relief
BOSTON – (September 30, 2022) – The Greater Boston Food Bank applauds the Biden administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s announcement to provide nearly $1.5 billion in additional funding for emergency food assistance nationally. This new investment will help Eastern Massachusetts begin to alleviate the surge in food insecurity in our region and help ensure people in our community do not need to make the difficult choice between putting food on the table and paying bills.
Food banks, pantries and other charitable food assistance programs have been providing a record response during the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting 60 million individuals in 2020 and 53 million in 2021. Specifically, our food bank distributed the equivalent of over 96 million meals this past year. This level of aid would not have been possible without USDA food purchases. In 2020, USDA foods made up 38% of all food distributed by the Feeding America network, of which the Greater Boston Food Bank is a member, translating to over 2.4 billion meals for community members in need.
USDA food purchases are a lifeline for rural communities, which often face higher rates of food insecurity than urban communities. In 2020, 96% of rural counties received USDA food items distributed by a food bank within the Feeding America network.
Today, the demand for emergency food assistance remains well above pre-pandemic levels. But in 2022, food banks have struggled with a food supply crisis. Our food bank has been facing an unprecedented combination of supply chain disruptions, decreased donations of food and funds, and rapidly increasing costs for purchased food, transportation, cold storage and other operational needs. In FY 22, the Greater Boston Food Bank received about 30% less donated food than in 2021. This investment from the Biden administration will help close the gap between the amount of food we can provide and the hunger relief Eastern Massachusetts needs.
The Greater Boston Food Bank stands ready to distribute this emergency food aid as soon as possible to individuals and families facing hunger in our community.
Those in need of food assistance are encouraged to visit GBFB.org/need food, where they can find a list of resources and search for a food program by zip code.
About The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. As the food bank for Eastern Massachusetts, GBFB is feeding people in 190 towns across the region, distributing the equivalent of nearly 100 million meals through a network of 600 dedicated food distribution partners and programs. A member of the national Feeding America network, GBFB’s mission is to end hunger here. The organization remains committed to the belief that access to healthy food is a human right regardless of an individual’s circumstances. Through policy, partnerships, and providing free, nutritious, and culturally responsive food, GBFB is committed to addressing the root causes of food insecurity while promoting racial, gender and economic equity in food access. For more information and to help us help others, visit us at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617.427.5200.
VP, Communications and Public Affairs