bostonCANshare is an annual food drive sponsored by the Mayor's Office of Food Initiatives, FedEx, and The Greater Boston Food Bank. In 2014, Bostonians shared over $61,000 to help make healthy foods more affordable and over 50,000 pounds of food with local families.
Healthy food in dry packaging or cans is preferred.
The Food Bank is NOT able to collect the following types of food through the CANshare:
The donated food collected by Boston CANshare is transported by FedEx to the Greater Boston Food Bank; the Food Bank serves as a distribution center to over 90 food pantries, emergency meal programs, and shelters.
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. In fiscal year 2013, GBFB distributed 48 million pounds of product, a 17% increase from the previous fiscal year, and enough to provide healthy meals to as many as 545,000 people.
GBFB acquires food through food industry product donations, food drives and financial contributions. They benefit from the generosity of over 25,000 volunteers annually who help to sort and distribute donated food products. GBFB works to acquire, store, organize and distribute food through local food pantries, community meal programs, homeless and residential shelters, youth programs, senior centers, and day-care centers embedded in communities throughout the nine counties of eastern Massachusetts. GBFB also distributes food directly to those in need through dedicated programs that serve particularly vulnerable groups, such as seniors and children.
Food insecurity is a growing problem in eastern Massachusetts and GBFB is committed to working with its network of member agencies to meet the rising demand.
Launched in 2007 in collaboration with The Food Project and the Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness, the Boston Bounty Bucks Program is able to provide more families with access to fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm fresh products. Purchases made with SNAP benefits are matched up to $10. In other words, SNAP users can get their food at 50% off up to $20 at farmers' markets.
In 2009, over 120,000 people in Suffolk County participated in SNAP. Between 2007 and 2013, the number of Boston farmers' markets that accept SNAP and participate in the Boston Bounty Bucks program increased from 1 to 22.
The Mayor's Fresh Food Fund supports Boston Bounty Bucks and other food and hunger initiatives in the City. Donations can be made out to:
c/o Mayor's Office of Food Initiatives
1 City Hall Plaza
Boston, MA 02201
The Boston CANshare Food Drive represents a true community partnership. CANshare is coordinated by the Mayor's Office, and relies on a number of partners who make the campaign possible. FedEx has been one of CANshare's primary sponsors for the past 28 years, picking up and transporting all of the donated cans to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Romanow Container has provided financial support for CANshare collection boxes.
Can Drive Partners:
In addition to the many private corporations that collect cans for Boston CANshare, a number of public groups do as well. The YMCA of Greater Boston collects cans across all of its area branches, as do Shaw's supermarkets. Ben & Jerry's stores serve as collection sites, as does Tasty Burger. All Boston Public Library branches, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, Boston Fire Department firehouses, Boston Public Schools and many other city departments also collect cans.
JCDecaux and the MBTA generously donate advertising space across the MBTA's subways, buses, and bus stations.
Project Bread operates the FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 (TTY: 1-800-377-1292). The Hotline responds to more than 30,000 calls a year in 140 languages, a special service that links callers with a translator usually within 30 seconds, from people across the state struggling to feed their families. FoodSource Hotline counselors refer callers to food resources in their communities. Hotline counselors also provide callers with appropriate information on public programs including Food Stamps, meal sites for the elderly, meals on wheels programs, salvage food distribution sites and other programs that supply free or low-cost food. FoodSource Hotline has also installed a TTY line to serve deaf callers.
Community Servings is a not-for-profit food and nutrition program providing services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. Their clients, their dependent families, and caregivers are provided with appealing, nutritious meals. Their goals are to help clients maintain their health and dignity and preserve the integrity of their families through free, culturally appropriate, home-delivered meals, nutrition education, and other community programs. Their address is 18 Marbury Terrace, Jamaica Plain and phone number is 617-522-7777.
The Haley House Food Pantry addresses the hunger behind closed doors. Elders and families are welcome to enjoy the availability of fresh vegetables and other healthy fare that increases health, wellness and food security among those with limited incomes. Their address is 23 Dartmouth Street, Boston and phone number is 617-236-8132.