A Working Family Has Healthy Food Thanks to You Irma and her husband, Roberto, live paycheck to paycheck putting food on the table for their three small children in Lynn. Roberto has worked the same job as a hotel main- tenance manager for 37 years. While he has steady employment, the family struggles to keep up with their rising rent and the high cost of living in East- ern Massachusetts. Irma, 38, said the family sometimes runs out of food at the end of the month as expenses add up and their food budget bottoms out. “Between paying bills, rent and everything else, we’re just trying to survive,” she said. Since 2014, The Greater Boston Food Bank has partnered with the Con- nery Elementary School in Lynn to run a monthly School-based Pantry for families in need. Irma’s three children—Casey, 13; Roberto, 12; and Daisy, 5—all either attended or currently attend the Con- nery School. Her two older children even volunteered at the School-based Pan- try, helping carry boxes and bags of food, when they were members of the student council. “This is a really rewarding opportunity for us,” Irma said. “It always helps out at the end of the month when we run out of food to fill our pantry.” Irma and other families at the school take home about 40 pounds of nu- tritious food every month Stories of Hope “It always helps out at the end of the month when we run out of food to fill our pantry.” Irma, 38, mother of three 3 Daisy, 5, a student at the Connery Elementary School, shows her mom, Irma, an apple she received in a box of nutritious food for her family. from the free, farmers market-style distribution. “We’re able to get a lot of vegetables from the pantry. Daisy loves the broccoli,” Irma said. “We also get milk, eggs, pasta, potatoes… we use every- thing we bring home.” The food usually lasts the family about two weeks, according to Irma. “[The School-based Pantry] helps financially because we’re running around trying to make ends meet,” she said. “And this helps us feed our kids.” Cynthia and her son Davontay are just some of the hundreds of recipients of healthy food at GBFB's School-based Pantry at the Connery Elementary School in Lynn. Catherine's Message Dear Friends, For families already struggling to put food on the table for their children, summer is the most difficult time of year. When school breakfast and lunches disappear in the summer, demand at our member agencies grows. The Greater Boston Food Bank pro- vides food to more than 92,000 children every year through our network of over 500 food pantries, meal programs and shelters. We also reach children di- rectly in their communities at GBFB’s School-based Pantries—free farmers market-style distributions at schools in high-need areas. Our School-based Pantries help families like Irma’s—who you’ll meet on page 3. Through this program, Irma, her husband and their three children take home 40 pounds of fruits, vegetables, meat, pasta and other nutritious items every month. This year, we’re expanding the number of School-based Pantries that operate during the summer months, in an effort to bridge the summer meal gap and help more food-insecure families when they need it most. Inside, you’ll read about how we’re help- ing our agencies distribute more healthy food to hungry people in their com- munities and the $2.4 billion in annual health-related costs attributed to food insecurity in Massachusetts. Your donation helps us provide nutritious food to Irma’s family—and thousands of other families like hers year-round. I thank you for your continued support. Together, we can end hunger here. Sincerely, Catherine D’Amato President and CEO GBFB.org/our-programs LEARN MORE AT Your Support Lifts Lynn Roughly 1 in 10 residents of Lynn is food insecure. This means that 9,800 people living there cannot be sure day to day where their next meal is coming from. In a city where 20 percent of the population lives in poverty, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) works tirelessly with community partners to provide nutritious food for all those in need. In the last 12 months, GBFB distributed 1.2 million pounds of food in the city of Lynn, or the equivalent of 980,000 healthy meals. GBFB works with over a dozen partners at 20 different sites in Lynn to reach many different types of populations. In addition to food pantries, meal programs and emergency shelters, GBFB distributes healthy food at a community college, community health center, senior center and an elementary school in Lynn. 2 “Having a pantry impacts our school community directly, by attack- ing one of the most difficult academic barriers to learning, which is hunger,” said Laura Sanchez, social worker at the Connery School in Lynn, the site of one of GBFB’s nine School-based Pantries. “We are lucky to have this service.” The School-based Pantry in Lynn has been helping schoolchildren and their families for 5 years. Nearly 100 families take home 40 pounds of nutritious food every month. This year, for the first time ever, the pantry will distribute food during the summer, helping families through the toughest time of the year. Your donation helps us feed hungry Lynn families like Irma’s, who you’ll read more about on page 3.