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 physical 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 crisis, forced to choose between paying bills and providing food for their families. With more working families in need of food assistance and with cuts to federal 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, and shelters.
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 – glass containers are NOT accepted. 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 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.
Who are the sponsors of the 2013 bostonCANshare campaign?
The bostonCANshare 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 26 years, taking care of 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.
Who are the partners of the 2013 bostonCANshare campaign?
Public Can Collection Partners
In addition to the many private corporations that collect cans for bostonCANshare, 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. The Boston Water and Sewer Commission includes CANshare inserts in their monthly mailings during the campaign.
How can I donate if I don't work for one of the participating companies?
From late October to early December, you can bring donated food to the following locations in Boston:
YMCA of Greater Boston branches
Ben & Jerry's stores
All Boston Public Library branches
Boston Centers for Youth and Families community centers