In 2011 Greater Boston Food Bank Celebrates 20 years of feeding people. In a sense we all work at this same task as we face the daily responsibility of putting food on our tables to meet the needs of our own families. But for those in the Greater Boston area who find that daily task daunting at best and impossible at worst, Greater Boston Food Bank has operated since 1981 to help pick up the slack and furnish people with the food they need to feed their families and survive hard times.
Who is Served by Greater Boston Food Bank It can be hard sometimes for those of us who face no food shortages of our own to believe that there are people in our own society, indeed in our own community who are facing food shortages each day. We are used to giving money to help meet international crises, to stave off hunger after earthquakes, hurricanes or floods in foreign countries and in our own. Most of us have responded to the need for food in African countries that have sustained crop failures due to prolonged droughts. But hunger in our own country, a land of apparent and sometimes flaunted plenty, can be hard to wrap one’s mind around..
Yet according to statistics compiled by the Greater Boston Food Bank as recently as 2005, in any single year, more than 320,000 people from Eastern Massachusetts alone seek food assistance. Equally as surprising is the fact that 52% of those in need are located in the suburbs where we have long assumed hunger is not an issue. The people who are served include those from both lower and middle class. Sadly the numbers also include the most fragile members of our society like children, the elderly and those who are in some way disabled. As with homelessness in our society, many people face food shortages because of the loss of a job, the break up of a marriage or family arrangement or illnesses that cut off means of support for families.
How the Greater Boston Food Bank Operates. With so many people to service, the Greater Boston Food Bank relies heavily on local programs to distribute some 31 million pounds of food each year. Local groups include soup kitchens and shelters that are operated often by church or civic organizations. But any organization is welcomed to apply to qualify for food assistance by going to the Greater Boston Food Bank’s website.
Over the years experience has taught the Greater Boston Food Bank that despite its best efforts to extend food assistance through local established feeding programs, often times needy people, especially children, elderly and disabled fall through the cracks and miss out on the essential nutrition they need. To aggressively attack this problem the Greater Boston Food Bank has established four special programs that target observed needs.
One of these special programs is called “Kids Cafe”, even the name seems to say something good is happening here. This program works through Boston area Boys and Girls Clubs and typically provides a suppertime meal for kids 5 nights a week during the school year and then during the summer season shifts over to offering breakfast and lunch on each week day. In all this special program brings nutritious food to 1700 needy children who otherwise might be receiving a less than healthy diet each week.
As Greater Boston Food Bank celebrates 20 years of feeding people in need perhaps you will want to help. Many of us who can feed our family today know we are all only one catastrophe away from needing assistance ourselves. You can donate food or money to this important service program through its website listed below.