Especially for the independent
On Thursday, November 10, the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) hosted its 17th annual Chain of Giving event in its original format, a tradition that involves civil society and community leaders to raise awareness of the critical issue to raise food insecurity in our region and hunger GBFB Free Holidays campaign to support hunger relief this holiday season.
The event, sponsored by Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), featured a formal program of speakers with remarks from Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General and Governor-elect Maura Healey, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and GBFB President and CEO Catherine D’Amato . Also present were Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Salem Mayor and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, Senator Sal DiDomenico, and popular Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster, among other VIPs.
Participants formed a human chain from GBFB’s loading dock to the freezer and passed over 1,200 turkeys to be distributed to families in need for the holiday season.
“We are thrilled to welcome you in person for the first time since 2019 and are deeply grateful for your attendance and dedication to our mission,” D’Amato said of attendees. “As we continue to feed the 190 communities in eastern Massachusetts, the demand for food assistance remains at the highest level in the Food Bank’s 40-year history. Many of our neighbors are still grappling with the aftershocks of the pandemic amid skyrocketing food, fuel and housing costs. We have so much more work to do, yes, but we have so much to be thankful and hopeful for.”
GBFB also presented the Nally Award to the Everett High School Crimson Tide Marching Band. Established in 2006, the Nally Award honors Danny and Betsy Nally of Westwood, MA and is presented to one or more students who have made a significant contribution to ending hunger in their community. Everett High School’s Crimson Tide Marching Band, the first band to be reorganized in Massachusetts amid the pandemic, has comforted families when called to funerals and has volunteered with many hunger relief organizations, including GBFB’s partner Grace Food Pantry , Harvest on The wine and food can drive for the homeless. Members Sal DiDomenico, Jr., Enrico Vega and Rocco Ortiz accepted the award.
“Everett High School is the most diverse high school in the state, and that diversity is reflected in the makeup of this nationally recognized performing arts group,” said D’Amato. “Her commitment to community service is as strong as her love of music. They are exemplary community members who always say yes, ask how they can help, and give back to their community.”
The GBFB’s most recent study on food insecurity showed that up to 1 in 3 adults in Massachusetts were food insecure in 2021. This high demand also increases the pressure on food stocks across the region to provide more food. The GBFB study estimates that food stock usage among food insecure adults increased by 44% between 2020 and 2021. GBFB expects the increased use of food stocks to continue for the remainder of this year into 2023. Through December 31st, GBFB is inviting individuals and teams to donate online in support of the Hunger Free Holidays campaign. This year, GBFB plans to serve 90 million healthy meals in 190 cities in eastern Massachusetts. For more information on giving as a team or as an individual, visit GBFB.org/Holidays online.