The COVID-19 pandemic caused a public health and economic crisis, the effects of which continue to be widely felt. In Worcester County, food insecurity has increased significantly, and for those already struggling to make ends meet, the pandemic has presented additional hardships. To help local individuals and families keep food on the table, GWCF is proud to announce $142,000 in grants to 23 local organizations through the Worcester County Food Bank Fund to End Hunger.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of granting through the Fund to End Hunger. The Fund is a collaboration between the Worcester County Food Bank and the Foundation aimed at achieving hunger-free communities. Over the years, the Fund has been a valued resource for front-line organizations creating food access across the region.

The grants made this year will support efforts to address food insecurity by funding community education and engagement around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), purchasing farm equipment for nonprofit farms to grow more fresh produce for distribution; and helping food pantries and meal programs expand their services to senior citizens and other vulnerable populations.

“Over the past year, the pandemic exposed and exacerbated a food insecurity problem that already affected far too many of our neighbors in Worcester County,” said Jean G. McMurray, CEO of the Worcester County Food Bank. “This year's Fund to End Hunger grants recognize the dedication, effort, resiliency, and compassion of local agencies in providing food and nutrition resources to our neighbors under very challenging circumstances.”

“We are awarding more than ever in this year's Fund to End Hunger Grants because we are determined to address ongoing inequities in our community,” said Carolyn Stempler, GWCF Interim President and CEO. “The Foundation is proud to leverage its resources and its strong, longstanding partnerships with organizations like the Worcester County Food Bank to be a force for positive, lasting change.”

The 23 grantee organizations are:

Boys & Girls Club of Worcester for Community Food Assistance
Building Futures, Inc. for Addressing Food Insecurity at the WHA
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Worcester for Emergency Stabilization Services
Community Harvest Project for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Hunger Relief
Dismas House of Massachusetts, Inc. for Recovery Grows Worcester
Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc. for Food Distribution for Homeless Patients
Growing Places Garden Project for Fresh Food Equity
Jeremiah's Inn for the Nutrition Center
Lucy's Love Bus for Lucy's Emergency Fund
Nativity School of Worcester for the Food Pantry
Net of Compassion for the Main Street Saturday Program
Our Father's House, Inc. for an Equipment Purchase
Pernet Family Health Service, Inc. for the Emergency Assistance Program
Project New Hope for the Food and Baby Pantry
Quinsigamond Community College Foundation for the Food Pantry and Resource Center
Quinsigamond Village Community Center for the Food Pantry
Rachel's Table for Food Rescue
Regional Environmental Council, Inc. for Community & Mobile Markets
Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts for Food and Hot Meal Delivery Program
Spanish American Center, Inc for Reaching Out to Elders in the Time of COVID
United Way of Tri-County for WHEAT Community Connections
Winchendon Community Action Committee for Food Distribution
YMCA of Central Massachusetts for the Home Meal Delivery Program