With a Focus on Providing Fresh, Healthy Foods to Mass. Residents in Need, The Greater Boston Food Bank Observes National Nutrition Month®
65 percent of distributed food is fresh, perishable produce, milk, eggs and protein
BOSTON – Mar. 2, 2020 – While many may think of food banks and pantries as offering primarily canned goods or processed foods, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) leads on a national trend of distributing high-quality, healthy food. In 2019, 65 percent of the food GBFB distributed was perishable product, such as milk, eggs, and protein, as well as fresh produce.
In recognition of National Nutrition Month – and in support of the food bank’s efforts to build sustained access to nutritious food – GBFB launched its annual Spring for Meals campaign which will run for the month of March. Increasing access to nutritious food is one of the organization’s three strategic focus areas to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028. GBFB has continued to increase access to nutritious food through a variety of innovative programs and, last year, reached a new milestone with over one-third of the food it distributed being fresh produce.
GBFB has also introduced 11 produce-only mobile markets at Healthcare Centers, including those in Framingham, Lawrence, New Bedford, Revere, and Lynn, and Community Colleges, plus a Healthy Pantry Program, designed to encourage the selection of healthy options through nutrition education and strategically promoting and displaying healthy food in pantries. GBFB’s Health and Research team also recently relaunched ClicknCook.org, an online recipe resource with over 500 healthy, affordable and easy to follow recipes that have been evaluated by GBFB’s registered dietitians and use everyday ingredients. Through these and other initiatives, GBFB is striving to bridge the connection between food insecurity and chronic health issues including diabetes, heart problems, lupus, arthritis, and more.
Last year, GBFB distributed the equivalent of nearly 57 million healthy meals through 530 partner agencies in 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts, where one in 11 people are at risk of hunger. With the high cost of food and overall cost of living in the state driving a greater need for food relief, GBFB is accelerating efforts to improve access to nutritious food for those in need.
“Individuals and families that experience food insecurity also endure the negative health consequences of hunger,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank. “Our Hunger Free commitment to increasing access to healthy food enables us to increase the amount of fresh produce we provide, which can help support the health of those we serve.”
In 2018, GBFB and Children’s HealthWatch released a state-wide study, An Avoidable $2.4 Billion Cost, which reported that hunger and food insecurity is costing Massachusetts $2.4 billion in health-related costs annually. GBFB’s Health and Research team’s efforts aim to reduce those costs.
To help GBFB provide more fresh produce to those who need it most, visit www.gbfb.org/spring-for-meals and explore ways to support the campaign.
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. GBFB provides the equivalent of nearly 57 million healthy meals annually, distributed through its network of 530 member agencies across Eastern Massachusetts. GBFB operates four direct service programs at nearly 70 sites throughout the area. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB serves more than 140,000 people every month with a vision to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028. For more information, visit us at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617.427.5200.