BOSTON, Oct. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — One of the nation’s first food rescue organizations, Food For Free, is commemorating 40 years by expanding to a new location in Somerville, MA, which will enable it to double the amount of food distributed to people in need throughout Greater Boston. Since Food For Free was founded in 1981, the organization has grown substantially, but never experienced the unprecedented growth and demand as it has due to the pandemic. The number of food insecure Massachusetts residents prior to the pandemic was 1 in 13 residents and 1 in 11 children. The current number is 1 in 8 residents and 1 in 5 children, giving the state the highest relative increase in childhood food insecurity in the nation. Further, the cost of food and unemployment rates both increased during the pandemic.
To help meet this need, Food For Free has moved into a new, larger space in Somerville. The new 12,000 square foot facility, located at 59 Inner Belt Road, will support expanded programs and more flexible volunteer opportunities, including larger groups. It also offers cost savings for the organization so it can make its dollars stretch further. Food For Free is committing to distributing more than six million pounds of food over the next year to community partners throughout Greater Boston, which will more than double the amount of food distributed compared to the year before the pandemic.
“Food For Free is commemorating forty years as a hunger relief organization in Boston, and what better way to celebrate than opening a new space which will allow us to help even more people who are food insecure across the Greater Boston Area,” said Sasha Purpura, Executive Director of Food For Free. “We’ve been forced to pivot, innovate and create new programs in order to keep up with the unprecedented demand, and we are committed to distributing more food across our neighborhoods than ever before.”
Food For Free will keep their office in Cambridge and continue to support the Cambridge community ̶ as they have since 1981 ̶ along with the other Boston-area communities including Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Cambridge, Chelsea, East Boston, Revere, Waltham, Marblehead, Nahant, and more.
“The state of hunger in Massachusetts is dire; the demand is at an all-time high and we are facing a growing hunger crisis in our community like we haven’t seen before,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. “Food For Free has been feeding our community for decades and when the pandemic hit and hunger spiked, they rose to the challenge by mobilizing resources to feed thousands of families throughout Eastern Massachusetts. We are grateful for the life-saving work that Food For Free has done over the past 40 years to ensure individuals and families have access to critical, fresh and nutritious food they need to survive and thrive.”
Fighting hunger is a team effort, and Food For Free has partnered with dozens of organizations over the years to save lives in our communities. Partnerships include The Greater Boston Food Bank, Lindentree Farm, Boston Area Gleaners, The City of Cambridge, Harvard University, Cambridge and Somerville public schools and Housing Authority management to name a few.
“We’re so grateful for our invaluable partnership with Food For Free, and together we have worked hard to help fight hunger here in Boston for more than 32 years,” said Carol Tienken, Chief Operating Office, Greater Boston Food Bank. “We’ve been able to utilize their transportation operations to reach even more people, and look forward to seeing all that we can accomplish over the next forty years ̶ although we’d really like to end hunger first.”
Over the past forty years Food For Free has pioneered many new programs in addition to food rescue and has continued to innovate in order to keep up with demand. The organization created Field of Greens to grow vegetables for distribution to food pantries, Summer and School markets, School Weekend Backpack Programs, Just Eats Grocery Box program, Home Delivery programs, Gift Card programs, and more.
Food For Free will be hosting its annual Party Under the Harvest Moon on Friday, October 15th 6pm-7pm EST. The virtual fundraiser will be a celebration of the past 40 years and the life-changing work the non-profit has done throughout this tumultuous year. To purchase tickets and show support, visit https://events.readysetauction.com/foodforfree/puthm2021.
For more information about Food For Free visit www.foodforfree.org.
ABOUT FOOD FOR FREE
Food For Free is a Cambridge and Somerville-based, non-profit organization dedicated to providing the Greater Boston community with reliable access to fresh and nutritious food. Food For Free accomplishes its mission through food rescue, partnerships with schools, colleges, and community food programs, and our own direct service programs. In the last year, Food For Free distributed 6 million pounds of nutritious food to nearly 40,000 people throughout Greater Boston and was named 2020 .Org Impact Award winner in the Fighting Hunger and Poverty category for its work improving access to healthy food within the Boston community. To learn more, please visit us at http://www.foodforfree.org/, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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SOURCE Food For Free