BOSTON – March 1, 2019 – The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, today announced the launch of its annual Spring for Meals campaign with longstanding partners Stop & Shop and Citizens Bank, which will run for the month of March. Timed to celebrate National Nutrition Month, the campaign is set to raise more than $1 millon to support GBFB’s efforts to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to the 1 in 11 people who are at risk of hunger across Eastern Massachusetts.
The inaugural “Spring for Meals Day” is Friday, March 22. On the day, individuals will be called to pack a lunch and donate to GBFB in lieu of buying lunch.
“In just two years, this campaign has raised more than $3.5 million, which is the equivalent of more than 11.2 million healthy meals to our neighbors in need,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank. “Spring for Meals enables us to increase the amount of fresh produce we provide, which will help promote the health of those we serve. We are very grateful that Stop & Shop and Citizens Bank are uniting to support us in this effort.”
In 2018, 32 percent of the food GBFB distributed was fresh produce, and in 2019 it aims to increase that amount to 35 percent. More than half of the food distributed by GBFB in fiscal year 2019 has been perishable product, such as milk, eggs, and protein, as well as fresh produce. Each year GBFB distributes more than 60 million pounds of food through 530 partner agencies in 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachsuetts.
In addition to increasing the percentage of fresh produce, GBFB has also initated 11 produce-only mobile markets and recently launched a pilot program called the Healthy Pantry program, designed to encourage the selection of healthy options through strategically promoting and displaying healthy food in pantries. With the execution of these new initiatives, GBFB strives to bridge the connection between food insecurity and health issues including diabetes, heart problems, lupus, arthritis, and more.
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.
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 more than 48 million healthy meals annually distributed through its network of 530 member agencies in the 190 cities and towns 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 in its mission to create a hunger-free Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, visit us at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank), or call us at 617.427.5200.
About Stop & Shop
A neighborhood grocer for more than 100 years, today’s Stop & Shop is refreshed, reenergized and inspired, delivering new conveniences for customers. Committed to helping its communities enjoy better food and better lives, Stop & Shop has a longstanding history of giving back to the neighborhoods it serves with a focus on fighting hunger and helping children to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC is an Ahold Delhaize USA Company and employs more than 61,000 associates and operates over 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit stopandshop.com.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $160.5 billion in assets as of December 31, 2018. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,900 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products, and asset finance. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.