bostonCANshare is an annual food drive sponsored by Mayor Menino, the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Hunger, FedEx, and The Greater Boston Food Bank.
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Why does hunger exist in Boston?
A February 2010 survey by the Greater Boston Food Bank reflects a 23 percent increase in the number of people who were served by GBFB since the last study was conducted in 2005; illustrating how the economic downturn has increased the need for food. Hunger is no longer just a problem facing those in poverty. A recent study shows that 47% of those at risk for hunger in eastern Massachusetts earn too much to be eligible for government-provided emergency food assistance. Many never dreamed they would need a food pantry or community meal program to feed themselves and their families.
The answer, it turns out, has less to do with food – there’s plenty of food available – and more to do with economic and political obstacles that prevent food from reaching those who need it. During the winter months when utility bills are high, many more families are forced to cut their food budgets and seek help from emergency food pantries and meal programs. Faced with shrinking wages and soaring food and fuel costs, many working families find themselves in a crisis, struggling to stay above water. With more working families in need of food assistance and with cuts to public programs, private charities will face increasing pressure to meet the needs of hungry people in our state.
Where does the donated food go?
The donated food collected by bostonCANshare is transported by Fedex to the Greater Boston Food Bank. The Food Bank serves as a distribution center to nearly 100 food pantries, emergency meal programs & shelters.
What types of food can be donated?
Dairy: Milk - dried, evaporated, and boxed (such as Parmalat)
Protein: Beef stew, nuts, peanut butter, beans, and peas (dried or canned), chili, tuna fish, chicken, salmon and other meats (canned)
Fruit: Raisins and other dried fruit with no added sugar, applesauce, any canned fruit in its own juice
Grains: Crackers, oatmeal, whole grain rice, all types of pasta, ready to eat low sugar/high fiber cereal (Cheerios, Raisin Bran, etc.)
The Food Bank is unable to distribute baby food or baby formula collected through food drives. Dry packaging and cans are preferred. For safety reasons, the Food Bank is unable to accept donated baby food, baby formula, or food in glass containers. Only non-perishable (not frozen or refrigerated), sealed, and unexpired food maybe donated.
What if I know of someone in need of help?
Project Bread-The Walk for Hunger operates the FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 9TTY: 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.
Who are the sponsors of Boston Can Share?
The bostonCANshare Food Drive is truly a community partnership. The Food Drive is coordinated by the Mayor's Office with FedEx serving as one of the main sponsors the past 26 years. Financial support for Can Share boxes has been provided by Romanow Container. The FedEx Express Ship Center located at 775 Summer Street in South Boston, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, and all Boston Public Library branches serve as drop-off locations. In addition, 55 Boston City Departments and 100 Boston Public Schools participate by collecting food and raising funds.
How can I donate if I don't work for one of the participating companies?
From November 5 through November 30, you can bring donated food to Boston Center for Youth & Families community centers, all Boston Public Library branches, and the FedEx Express Ship Center located at 775 Summer Street in South Boston. Find one of these or many of our other drop-off locations near you using our locator map.
How can my company participate?
A company or organization may participate by contacting the bostonCANshare Coordinator directly.