Last year, the Natick Service Council (NSC) decided it wanted to increase the amount of fresh, healthy foods its pantry could provide to its community’s low-income residents.
“We’ve seen demand steadily rising because people can’t keep up with the higher and higher costs of living in Greater Boston,” said NSC’s Executive Director Greg Tutuny. “The people being squeezed out are our most vulnerable neighbors: seniors, the disabled, and struggling working families.”
So, NSC turned to The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) for help. As one of GBFB’s 530 member agencies, the NSC was eligible to apply for a GBFB capacity grant and received $1,700 toward the purchase of a brand-new, two-door commercial refrigerator.
The refrigerator is helping to support its “Heart Healthy” initiative, designed to significantly increase access to high-fiber, lowfat and low-sodium foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, the refrigerator enabled NSC to launch its new “Take Me” food rescue program. In conjunction with local restaurants, farms, grocery stores, and most recently with GBFB partner Lovin’ Spoonfuls, NSC now offers rescued prepared foods to supplement the food available at NSC’s pantry.
“Healthy, perishable foods are, at times, out of reach financially for many of the 700 families we serve,” Tutuny said. “Thanks to the new refrigerator, we’re now able to keep perishable foods fresher for a longer period of time, and we’re able to handle much larger quantities. Our clients have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to eat healthier foods.”