Greater Boston Food Bank’s 17th annual chain of giving calls attention to food insecurity during the holidays – Everett Independent — Massachusetts

Especially for the Independent

On Thursday, November 10, the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) held its 17th annual Chain of Giving event in its original form, a tradition that engages citizens and community leaders to raise awareness of the critical issue of food insecurity in our region and GBFB’s Hunger Free Holidays Campaign to support hunger relief this holiday season.

The Everett High School Crimson Tide Marching Band performs in front of The Greater Boston Food Bank.
Members of the Everett High School Crimson Tide Marching Band accept Nally
Award, presented with The Greater Boston Food Bank President and CEO Catherine D’Amato and Danny Nally, the originator of the Nally Award.

Sponsored by the Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), the event featured a formal speaking program that included remarks by Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General and Governor-elect Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and GBFB President and CEO Catherine D’Amato. Also in attendance were Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Salem Mayor and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll, state Sen. Sal DiDomenico and beloved Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster among other VIPs.

Attendees formed a human chain from GBFB’s loading dock to its freezer, passing over 1,200 turkeys to be distributed to families in need for the holidays.

“We are excited to welcome you in person for the first time since 2019 and are deeply grateful for your participation and dedication to our mission,” D’Amato told attendees. “As we continue to feed the 190 communities of Eastern Massachusetts, the demand for food assistance remains at the highest level in the Food Bank’s 40-year history. Many of our neighbors are still struggling from the aftershocks of the pandemic amid high food, fuel and housing costs. We have so much to do, yes, but we have so much to be thankful for and hope for.”

GBFB also presented the Everett High School Crimson Tide Marching Band with the Nally Award. The Nally Award, established in 2006, honors Danny and Betsy Nally of Westwood, MA and is presented to a student or students who have made a significant contribution to ending hunger in their community. The first band to reorganize in Massachusetts amid the pandemic, the Everett High School Crimson Tide Marching Band provided comfort to families when they were called to funerals and volunteered with several hunger relief organizations, including GBFB partner Grace Food Pantry, Harvest on the Vine and Food Can Drives for the Homeless. Members Sal DiDomenico, Jr., Enrico Vega and Rocco Ortiz accepted the award.

“Everett High School is the most diverse high school in the state, and that diversity is reflected in the makeup of this nationally recognized performing arts group,” said D’Amato. “Their commitment to community service is as strong as their love of music. They are exemplary members of the community who always say yes, ask how they can help and give back to their community.”

GBFB’s most recent food insecurity study found that up to 1 in 3 adults in Massachusetts experienced food insecurity in 2021. This high level of need is also putting increased pressure on food pantries across the region to provide more food. GBFB’s study estimated that food use among food insecure adults increased 44% from 2020 to 2021. GBFB expects increased food use to continue throughout the rest of the year in 2023. As of December 31, GBFB invites individuals and groups to donate online in support of the Huger Free Holidays campaign. This year, GBFB aims to serve 90 million healthy meals to 190 cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts. More information about donating as a group or individually is available online at GBFB.org/Holidays.

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