The Greater Boston Food Bank Honors Hunger Relief Champions

The Greater Boston Food Bank Honors Hunger Relief Champions through Annual Partner Appreciation Awards
Partner Appreciation Awards honor the most dedicated hunger-relief volunteers, donors, agencies and advocates

Boston, MA (May 22, 2023) – The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, honored the individuals and organizations going above and beyond to support GBFB’s hunger-relief efforts on Wednesday, May 17 at its signature fundraising event, FreshFest.

For the last 20 years, GBFB’s Partner Appreciation Awards program has sought to celebrate and show appreciation for the individuals and organizations that have collaborated to end hunger across Eastern Massachusetts. 

Twelve awards were given to valued partner agencies, public officials, volunteers, donors and other organizations that have made considerable contributions to GBFB’s mission to end hunger over the past year.

“The problem of hunger is everywhere, and now more than ever requires the entire community to come together to help people in need,” said Catherine D’Amato, GBFB President and CEO. “We are pleased to honor some exceptional individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to our mission. We thank them for going above and beyond and making a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors.”

The following individuals and organizations are GBFB’s 2023 Award recipients:

Founder’s Award
Patrick J. McGovern Foundation received the Founder’s Award for its continued support of GBFB’s critical business transformation efforts through implementation of cutting-edge technologies. GBFB is grateful for PJMF’s dedication to unlock approaches to “AI, data & humanity,” providing financial support as the food bank works to leverage top-tier innovation, standards, and practices to maximize the impact of GBFB’s operations to feed Eastern Massachusetts.

Leadership Award
Aramco Americas received the Leadership Award as a valued supporter of GBFB’s mission for the past 8 years, building a holistic partnership that includes volunteering and nearly $400,000 in monetary support. As the need for emergency food has increased due to the COVID-19 crisis so did the financial support of Aramco who have responded with incredible generosity to support the food bank’s mission.

President’s Choice Award
Donnette McManus was presented with the President’s Choice Award. A client and volunteer at Catholic Charities in Brockton, Donnette has been a staunch advocate for her community and hunger-relief initiatives by sharing her experiences as a single mother of four school-aged children in several activities including GBFB’s post White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health event held at Roxbury Community College in September 2022.

In-Kind Donor of the Year
Issues Management Group received the In-Kind Donor of the Year Award providing GBFB several pro-bono services in the past year with a value equal to 60,000 healthy meals. They helped put together a case-for-support that was used to help GBFB secure $17 million in ARPA funding to support several capital investment projects to support their Eastern Massachusetts network, supported GBFB’s involvement in the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health including its ‘Lifting our Voices’ sessions to help inform comments sent to the White House, and helped to plan and execute GBFB’s post  conference event held at Roxbury Community College in September 2022.

Food Donor of the Year
Demakes Enterprises received the Food Donor of the Year Award for providing GBFB with 450,000 pounds of highly desirable protein products including deli style ham, turkey, roast beef, chicken, salami and mortadella. The family-owned business based in Lynn, MA has been donating high quality food items to GBFB since 2017 and continues to demonstrate their strong support for the Eastern Massachusetts community.

Community Partner of the Year
Weymouth Food Pantry is GBFB’s Community Partner of the Year serving the City of Weymouth with a pop-up pantry model that brings heathy food into Weymouth neighborhoods of the utmost need, meeting clients where they are at. They also serve 11 other South Shore food pantry partners by operating as a shared delivery site, saving these agencies on transportation costs and providing additional food resources to other communities south of Boston. In 2022 they launched their South Shore Leadership Program which established and convened a cohort of agencies interested in improving their operations by participating in trainings on grant writing, fundraising, volunteer management, social media, and more.

Volunteer of the Year (Individual)
Kristin Ahlman of Malden, MA is the Individual Volunteer of the Year awarded for her willingness to take on any task at GBFB while always being kind, enthusiastic and knowledgeable of the volunteer process. She is extremely supportive of Team GBFB staff, fellow volunteers and has a strong passion for the mission to end hunger here in Eastern MA.

Volunteers of the Year (Institution)
Winsor School Food Bank Club is one of two Institutional Volunteers of the Year. These young women show up with smiles and tons of positive energy. The student volunteers and their teachers display a great sense of community and understand the importance of giving back to their community. They take great pride in packing food boxes or sorting fresh produce that they know will go to the people who need it most.

St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers is one of two Institutional Volunteers of the Year Award. The St. John’s students and faculty repeatedly arrive at GBFB with a positive attitude and willingness to work hard. They are extremely productive and understand the need for accuracy, safety and stewardship. These young leaders will become future trailblazers in their communities as they lead with purpose.

State Advocate of the Year
Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) was honored with the State Advocate of the Year Award for playing an outsized role in advancing food security. They have positioned Massachusetts as a leader in supporting the access to federal nutrition benefits on several levels including creating a common application to streamline application process for SNAP and MassHealth benefits, worked tirelessly to provide support to SNAP clients who experienced “skimmed” or stolen benefits, and when  COVID-era Emergency SNAP benefits came to an end, they provided information sessions and communicated through many channels, in 28 languages, to help clients navigate this challenging reduction.

MA House of Representatives Advocate of the Year
State Representative Sean Garballey is the MA State House of Representatives Advocate of the Year. The Arlington representative has been a steadfast supporter of hunger-relief policies, including the Hunger Free Campus Initiative that provides a roadmap to support 2 and 4-year public colleges in implementing hunger relief initiatives on campus and An Act Promoting Student Nutrition which prohibits school meal debt shaming. As a member of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, he is a strong advocate for ensuring student success and access to higher education in the Commonwealth.

State Senate Advocate of the Year
State Senator Joan Lovely is the MA State Senate Advocate of the Year. She is the lead sponsor of the Hunger Free Campus Initiative and has been a constant advocate for equitable access to food and supporter for the Massachusetts emergency food system. Last fall she joined student advocates at Salem State University for a conversation on college hunger and has championed Salem State’s efforts to expand their on-campus food pantry.

Those in need of food assistance are encouraged to visit foodwhere they can find a list of resources and search for a food program near them 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 90 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, follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617-427-5200.

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