Feeding A Region: Local Farms and Hunger Relief

By Ashley Bannon, Marketing Coordinator


Vegetables in truck bed from Gaining Ground

The Foundation for MetroWest granted $120,000 to local hunger relief agencies in 2016. This is a 10% increase over 2015 in grant funding... but that was not the only increase this year. The Foundation doubled its support to organizations that primarily identify as farms, a strategic move that aligns the MetroWest Hunger Relief Fund’s focus with a key recommendation outlined in the 2014 MA Local Food Action Plan: increase the production and consumption of Massachusetts-grown foods. We spoke with one farm grantee, Gaining Ground Farm in Concord, about how this grant will impact their work.

Gaining Ground grows organic produce, 100% of which is sent – for free– to hunger relief organizations within a 20 mile radius of the farm. This is accomplished by a small staff, and the help of 2,800 volunteers throughout the year. Amy Capofreddi, Development and Office Manager, explains that “the grant from MWHRF will further our mission by allowing us to focus on what we do best, supporting underserved people and help them meet their material needs ... Our fresh, organic, produce improves the food quality of local emergency food programs to ensure good nutrition is available to low-income families and individuals.” She continues  “We believe that fresh, organic produce is a right not a privilege and with its high cost it is unavailable to many people.  We are truly grateful for the support of the Metrowest Hunger Relief Fund.”

Doug Wolcik, Farm Coordinator, (on tractor) describes Gaining Ground as a “part of this amazing modern small farm movement. We are committed to implementing new and old technologies to improve our soil and food quality.  And that these systems and practices continue to spark volunteers interest and the ability to grow and donate more food.  This truly is the new age of the farmer.”

The Foundation for MetroWest is proud to support the work by all of our 2016 MetroWest Hunger Relief Fund Grantees:
A Place to Turn – Natick
Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry, Inc – Acton 
Ashland Emergency Fund/Food Pantry – Ashland 
Ashland Youth and Family Services – Ashland 
Celebration International Church – Wayland 
Cooperative Elder Services, Inc – Lexington 
Daily Bread Food Pantry, Inc – Milford 
Dedham Food Pantry – Dedham 
Gaining Ground, Inc – Concord 
Gluten Free Food Bank – Wayland 
Grandma's Pantry – Waltham 
Holliston Pantry Shelf – Holliston 
HOPE Worldwide, Food Pantry – Framingham 
Hudson Community Food Pantry – Hudson 
Jewish Family and Children's Service, Family Table – Waltham 
Jewish Family Service of Metrowest – Framingham 
Land's Sake, Inc – Weston 
Lexington Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry, Inc – Lexington 
Lovin’ Spoonfuls – Boston 
Lucy & Joe's Pantry – Framingham 
Marlborough Community Cupboard, United Way of Tri-County – Marlborough 
Maynard Food Pantry – Maynard 
Medfield Food Cupboard – Medfield 
Medway Food Pantry – Medway 
Medway Village Food Pantry – Medway 
Middlesex Human Service Agency, Inc – Waltham 
Millis Ecumenical Food Pantry – Millis 
Minuteman Senior Services – Bedford 
Mt Cavalry Community Supper – Acton 
Natick Service Council – Natick 
Needham Community Council – Needham 
Needham Community Farm – Needham 
Open Table – Concord 
Parmenter VNA & Community Care, Inc – Wayland 
Project Just Because, Inc, Food Pantry – Hopkinton 
Sacred Heart Food Pantry – Waltham 
SVdP Food Supplement Program of Lincoln (St. Julia's Food Pantry) – Weston 
Springwell, Inc – Waltham 
St. Bridget's Food Pantry – Framingham 
Stearns Farm CSA – Framingham 
Stow Food Pantry – Stow 
Sudbury Community Food Pantry – Sudbury 
The Salvation Army – Framingham 
The Salvation Army – Milford
The Salvation Army – Waltham
United Parishes of Southborough Food Pantry – Southborough 
Walpole Community Food Pantry – Walpole 
Waltham Fields Community Farm – Waltham 
Wellesley Food Pantry – Wellesley 
Westborough Food Pantry – Westborough 
Westwood Council on Aging – Westwood 
Westwood Food Pantry – Westwood