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Thursday, July 6, 2023

Yawkey Food Pantry Awarded $40,000 Community Investment Grant from Greater Boston Food Bank

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, awarded $40,000 to Catholic Charities Boston’s Yawkey Food Pantry in Dorchester to support its ability to combat hunger in the area, bolstering GBFB’s network of food agencies and advancing hunger-relief efforts across Eastern Massachusetts in response to an increased need for food in the state.

The annual grant program, originally founded in 2013, has now been investing in GBFB partner agencies for 10 years. This investment aims to strengthen Catholic Charities Boston’s ability to provide nutritious food to the Dorchester community. The grant will be used to fund a freestanding 8’0” x 28’0” x 8’8” outdoor combination cooler and freezer that will increase the current freezer storage capacity by 15 times, allowing the Yawkey Food Pantry to store 50,000 pounds of food, which is the equivalent of 30,000 meals for clients. The grant funding will also be used to purchase a pallet jack for the Dorchester site which will increase efficiency and improve safety measures for volunteers and staff, allowing the agency to receive more full pallets as they are available, reduce tipping hazards, and minimize the physical effort required to move fully loaded pallets.

A GBFB partner, Catholic Charities Boston is building its storage and distribution capacity to serve its network of six food pantries throughout Boston, Lynn, Brockton, and Lowell as the agency seeks to reduce food insecurity. The agency’s Yawkey Food Pantry in Dorchester currently serves 200 households per day. The Lynn Market Pantry, which opened in October of 2022, is on track to serve 250 households each day by the end of the fiscal year. Catholic Charities anticipates a 20 to 25% increase in demand with the end of pandemic SNAP benefits. With the support of the GBFB Community Investment Grant, Catholic Charities anticipates serving a total of 6,404 unique households representing 13,040 individuals through its food pantry network, distributing the equivalent of approximately 1,580,000 meals total. “The Community Investment Grant will have a huge impact on our ability to serve nutritious food to more families experiencing food insecurity in the Dorchester community and surrounding areas,” said Beth Chambers, Vice President of Basic Needs. “We are so grateful for our ongoing partnership with the Greater Boston Food Bank.”

This grant follows the release of GBFB’s third annual report on food insecurity, equity and access in Massachusetts. The study, “Opportunities to Improve Food Equity & Access in Massachusetts,” reveals consistently high rates of food insecurity in the state and sustained disparities in food access for communities of color; with Hispanic, Black and LGBTQ+-identifying adults experiencing the highest rates of food insecurity.

“It is solely through collaboration with our network of partner agencies that we are able to address food insecurity across Eastern Massachusetts on such a large scale,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO at GBFB. “In response to the sustained inequities in food access, we aim to continue to invest in those communities facing a heightened need for food and drive equitable progress towards hunger relief through strategic grantmaking to our network of partner agencies. As food costs continue to rise nationwide, we look forward to seeing how these funds bolster Catholic Charities Boston’s ability to provide nutritious meals to our neighbors in Dorchester and the surrounding communities.”

About Catholic Charities Boston

Catholic Charities Boston supports communities throughout Eastern Massachusetts by providing services to the most vulnerable populations. Our programs include Family & Youth Services, Basic Needs, Refugee & Immigrant Services, and Adult Education & Workforce Development. We are one of the largest social service non-profit organizations in Massachusetts–and serve our neighbors, regardless of religion, race, gender, age, disability, or ethnicity.
Catholic Charities of Boston is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

About The Greater Boston Food Bank:
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. As the food bank for Eastern Massachusetts, GBFB is feeding people in 190 towns across the region, distributing the equivalent of nearly 90 million meals through a network of 600 dedicated food distribution partners and programs. A member of the national Feeding America network, GBFB’s mission is to end hunger here. The organization remains committed to the belief that access to healthy food is a human right regardless of an individual’s circumstances. Through policy, partnerships, and providing free, nutritious, and culturally responsive food, GBFB is committed to addressing the root causes of food insecurity while promoting racial, gender and economic equity in food access. For more information and to help us help others, visit us at, follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617-427-5200.

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