The Food Bank Annual Report
Fiscal Year 2019
October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has published our annual report with our lists of donors online. This digital format reduces our environmental impact and printing and mailing costs, so that we can distribute more healthy food throughout the region. Thank you to all of our donors who continue to support our mission. We are honored to count you as a partner in our effort to feed our neighbors in need and lead the community to end hunger.
From the Executive Director
Greetings Food Bank Friends.
We are living in tumultuous times and your support is more important than ever. Reflecting on last year, we continued to provide more healthy food to those at risk of hunger as we have every year for the last 14 years (except 2012 when federal stimulus funding ended in response to the Great Recession). We remain committed to living our core value that “everyone has the right to healthy food regardless of their circumstances.”
We are so very grateful to our hard-working employees, volunteer board of directors, and all our community partners who make it possible for The Food Bank to carry out its mission to feed our neighbors in need and lead the community to end hunger:
• Our more than 10,000 fund donors who invest in our mission
• Our front line feeding site partners (175 local food pantries, meal sites, shelters and others) that receive food from us and distribute it to vulnerable households
• Our 51 senior center and 26 Mobile Food Bank partners who help us reach directly elders and households in food deserts
• Our hundreds of private food donors from whom we rescue healthy food to feed our neighbors
• Our state and federal food donors who supply almost half our inventory
• Our 1,000+ volunteers who assist us primarily to sort rescued food, and to conduct SNAP outreach, nutrition education, public advocacy, and more
• Our dozens of partners on the Coalition to End Hunger who are advancing long-term solutions to the underlying causes of hunger
• Our state and federal legislative delegations as well as our local public officials who advocate for food access for all
All of you care about the health and strength of your communities, and share our vision of a western Massachusetts where no one goes hungry and everyone has access to nutritious food.
Almost half the individuals we provide food to are the most vulnerable: children, elders, and people with disabilities, including veterans. Many more are hard-working people struggling to make ends meet on minimum-wage incomes. Our communities are healthier and stronger because, together, we take care of our neighbors in need.
We have immediate challenges with the Coronavirus and ambitious goals for the coming years. We will continue to count on you for your support. This brief report is a snapshot of our collective impact to prevent hunger and food insecurity in our region. We hope that our mission gives you purpose to support and a means to participate that is best suited for you. Thank you for believing in us.
Andrew Morehouse Jacqueline Charron
Executive Director President, Board of Directors
Fresh Food in Food Deserts
Recently, there was some light teasing and friendly banter taking place in the parking lot of the Dunbar Community Center in the Mason Square neighborhood of Springfield. Volunteers were passing time while Jon Hulst, Food Bank driver, unloaded several pallets of healthy food for a Mobile Food Bank that takes place at this site each month in partnership with the Urban League of Springfield, Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Dunbar Community Center. As Hulst unloaded grocery items that included fresh root vegetables, fruit and milk, volunteers Ula Richardson and Sarah Webb stood side by side, waiting patiently as other volunteers and Urban League staff members set up folding tables to display the free food for patrons. Richardson and Webb came with reusable grocery bags to deliver food to others who needed groceries, but who were unable to attend for various reasons, including a lack of transportation and their disabilities.
“A lot of us do that,” Richardson said, referring to their regular group of volunteers. “In these days and times, every little bit helps.” Both are veteran Mobile Food Bank volunteers who also pack free bags of groceries for fellow seniors at two of The Food Bank’s Brown Bag: Food for Elders sites in Springfield.
“Mason Square is a food desert,” stated Andrew Cade, Senior Vice President of the Urban League. “Community residents don’t have supermarkets or farms to purchase fresh food. The Mobile Food Bank is a catalyst and an awesome resource for residents to eat healthy.”
The Food Bank partners with religious and social service organizations like the Urban League to operate 26 Mobile Food Bank sites in the region. In Springfield alone – our region’s largest city – there are ten such sites.
When asked to describe the Mobile Food Bank, Cheo Ramos, Food Distribution Supervisor at The Food Bank reflects, “All the sites feel like farmers markets where everybody knows each other. The volunteers have a lot of respect for guests, making them feel comfortable. People come back.”
The Mobile Food Bank is made possible in part by a grant from the Stop & Shop Family Foundation.
FY19 Mobile Food Bank Impact
Average Monthly People:
11,627 (Children: 32% Seniors: 18%)
1.5 Million Meals:
95% Perishables, 84% Fresh Vegetables
26 Bi-weekly or Monthly Sites:
Berkshire – 4 Franklin – 2 Hampden – 17 Hampshire- 3
Farm Produce Received in FY19
Food Bank Donors
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. As a gold-level GuideStar participant, we demonstrate our commitment to transparency. Check our GuideStar profile for more financial information, including our IRS Form 990.
COVID-19 Updates from The Food Bank
Check this page often for updates from The Food Bank regarding COVID-19 response and assistance.