The Greater Boston Food Bank Launches Hunger Free Holidays Campaign Amid Historic Increase in Demand for Services
Food Insecurity Rate in Massachusetts has Increased 59% Over Pre-COVID Levels – the Highest for any State in the Country
BOSTON – October 28, 2020 – The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, today launched Hunger-Free Holidays, its 10th annual holiday fundraising campaign. This year, GBFB aims to provide 20 million meals to its neighbors in need.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis have resulted in record numbers of Massachusetts citizens facing food insecurity. Recently revised projections by Feeding America show that the food insecurity rate in Massachusetts has increased 59%, which is the highest increase for a state in the country. One in seven people (or nearly one million residents) in the Commonwealth are now expected not to have access to enough food for three healthy meals a day. One in five children in Massachusetts now live in food-insecure households, an even more dramatic increase of 102% over pre-COVID-19 food insecurity levels.
These numbers are staggering, but GBFB has supported the surge in demand with resiliency. Since the onset of COVID-19 the GBFB network has reported, on average, a 91% increase in clients served. This new level of food insecurity will persist into the holiday season and beyond, and GBFB remains wholly committed to providing healthy meals to those in need every step of the way.
“As we approach a holiday season unlike any other, the need for food assistance in Massachusetts persists at historical rates,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO of GBFB. “During the season of giving we aim to motivate those who can to donate, in order to help their neighbors in need during this unique time that requires us to come together as a community and address the challenges at hand.”
From October 13 to December 31, individuals and teams can donate online at GBFB.org. Fundraising teams, such as local businesses, clubs, church groups, families and friends, can pool resources to reach a fundraising goal together. Hunger Free Holidays campaign is generously supported by Biogen Foundation. More information on donating as a team or individual is available online at GBFB.org/Holidays.
A $25 donation purchases a healthy holiday meal for a family in need – turkey and traditional side dishes (stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, squash and apples). GBFB offers chicken, fish and other options for those with dietary restrictions.
The Hunger Free Holidays campaign will include GBFB’s 15th annual Chain of Giving event to kick off the holiday season on November 19, 2020, which will be sponsored by Ocean Spray.
This is the 10th annual holiday campaign (formerly known as the Holiday Meal Drive), launched in 2010 to provide individuals and families in 190 Eastern Massachusetts cities and towns with nutritious meals. Ninety-two cents of every dollar received goes directly to help end hunger.
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. In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GBFB distributed the equivalent of nearly 81 million meals in 2020 through its network of nearly 600 dedicated food distribution partners and programs in the 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB’s mission is to end hunger here and it is committed to providing at least three healthy meals a day to everyone in need. 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.