Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and at The Greater Boston Food Bank that means we’re in the midst of our annual Turkey Drive.
We hope to distribute 38,000 turkeys to our 600 member food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters across eastern Massachusetts. This is the same number of turkeys we gave out last year.
Yet, we know that our member hunger-relief organizations have seen their client loads grow by 11% over the past year, and some have seen increases of 40%. One in nine Massachusetts residents is in need of food assistance.
As I write this, the U.S. Federal Government is announcing a 10.2% unemployment rate—the highest rate in 26 years! The Commonwealth’s rate is not far behind in what might, at best, be described as a “jobless recovery.” Winter will further stress the finances of families struggling to pay for heating fuel as they try to meet their housing and food expenses.
At The Greater Boston Food Bank, we have not run out of food, and we work hard to prevent that from happening. We work with our legislators to keep the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program strong. We ask our current—and potential—food donors for contributions. And we ask our financial donors to be generous. Last year, we were able to distribute 31.4 million pounds of food—more than we distributed in any previous year.
If you’re interested in helping, you can contribute to our Turkey Drive. We’re able to provide a 12-14 pound turkey to a family in need for just $12.
Another way you can help is by donating food. You can also volunteer at The Food Bank, like Communispace is doing this week, or for your local food pantry or soup kitchen. Or you can even host your own fundraiser. For every dollar that we receive we can distribute up to $4 worth of donated food.
My point here is to find a way to make a difference that will inspire you, and others close to you, to take action. At The Food Bank we say that “everyone has a role in ending hunger.” Find your role. You will be glad you did, and so will those you help.