Through its Charitable Foundation, BJ’s Wholesale Club has made a $100,000 donation to The Greater Boston Food Bank. BJ’s donation will provide fresh, nutritious food to children across the region through the food bank’s School-Based Pantry Summer Program.
“BJ’s is committed to nourishing our communities and helping families thrive, and we’re excited to support The Greater Boston Food Bank’s School-Based Pantry Summer Program,” said Kirk Saville, executive director of BJ’s Charitable Foundation. “Hunger-relief programs are crucial for children and families who lose access to school lunches in the summer. Through our partnership with Feeding America, we’re helping to provide access to fresh, healthy food to families when school is out for the summer.”
With the donation, The Greater Boston Food Bank will increase the number of fresh, nutritious meals distributed to children and families during the summer.
“Hunger doesn’t take a summer break,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank. “We’re incredibly thankful for BJ’s grant to support our Summer Pantry Programs, which will allow us to increase the number of healthy meals we distribute to families at a time when they need it most.”
In addition to the grant, BJ’s team members also volunteered at The Greater Boston Food Bank to sort and package healthy food to distribute at school-based pantries. The food bank delivers the nutritious food directly to partner sites, where it is displayed in a farmer’s market-style environment for children and families.
During the school year, more than 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. In the summer months, fewer than 4 million children receive free or reduced-priced meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program. From mobile and school pantries to congregate meal sites in public areas like summer camps, the Feeding America network operates different program models to increase the number of meals provided to children over the summer.
Since 2009, BJ’s has provided ongoing support to Feeding America through its foundation and BJ’s Feeding Communities program, helping local food banks successfully expand their programs to reach wider and more diverse audiences.
In addition to summer programming and grants from the BJ’s Charitable Foundation, BJ’s has secured more than 70 million pounds of donated food, including fresh produce, frozen meats and fish, baked goods and dairy items and helped distribute 58 million meals to neighbors in need through the BJ’s Feeding Communities program.
Westborough, Massachusetts-based BJ’s operates 215 clubs and 135 BJ’s Gas locations in 16 states.
The Greater Boston Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. It provides the equivalent of nearly 50 million healthy meals annually distributed through its network of 530 member agencies in the 190 cities and towns across eastern Massachusetts, serving more than 140,000 people every month.