Bread of Life provides the equivalent of more than one million meals per year to individuals, seniors, families and children in Malden and nine surrounding communities who suffer from food insecurity and hunger every day.
And yet the need still exceeds the agency’s capacity to serve.
It is for this reason that the agency recently announced its next big step, to build a new facility at its present location on Eastern Avenue in Malden. This new facility will allow Bread of Life to bring all programs and services under one roof. In so doing they will be able to serve more people, and do so more efficiently and effectively.
Bread of Life is considered one of Greater Boston Food Bank’s Strategic Partners and is among the top 30 pantry organizations in its network of more than 300. In 2015, the Greater Boston Food Bank chose Bread of Life as Agency Partner of the Year.
Jonathan Tetrault is Senior Director of Distribution Services at the Greater Boston Food Bank. At a recent breakfast with a large gathering of Bread of Life supporters he told crowd that “because people do not have adequate access to affordable, healthy food, issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and stress abound. Children who go to school on empty stomachs cannot learn in the same way that well fed children can.” He pointed out that organizations like Bread of Life and the Greater Boston Food Bank stated decades ago that their mission was to put themselves out of business. “We now know that is unlikely,” Tetrault said. “We do know, however, that we can do more, and we have to do more to make sure that people can go to work; that their children can learn; that their hospital stays are lessened; that insurance costs finally go down instead of up.” This project is a collaboration with Metro North Housing, another nonprofit organization, who will bring several affordable housing units to the new facility as well. The housing portion of the project is funded through various government programs.
The Bread of Life portion of the project is being funded through a capital campaign with a $3 million goal. David Hart is Vice President of Bread of Life’s Board and Chair of its capital campaign. He announced to the enthusiastic gathering of agency supporters: “We have already raised approximately half of our campaign goal in charitable gifts and pledges,” he said.
Individuals, corporations and businesses, charitable foundations, churches and other organizations are offering charitable gifts and pledges to be fulfilled over one to three years. “The support we are receiving for this essential project is both rewarding and motivating”, said Gabriella Snyder Stelmack, Bread of Life’s Deputy Director, who added that “we may never be able to put ourselves out of business as hoped, but we are taking this giant step in order to greatly increase our capacity to serve those in need.”
Bread of Life serves residents of the following communities: Malden, Everett, Melrose, Medford, Saugus, Stoneham, Reading, North Reading, Wakefield and Winchester.