Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Inc.

  • Hatfield, MA
  • www.foodbankwma.org

Mission Statement

The mission of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is to feed our neighbors in need and lead the community to end hunger.

Main Programs

  1. Food Distribution
  2. Brown Bag: Food for Elders
  3. SNAP Outreach and Enrollment
  4. Mobile Food Bank
  5. Nutrition Education
  6. Agency Relations
  7. Education and Advocacy
  8. Food Bank Farm
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties in Western Massachusetts

ruling year

1982

Executive Director since 2005

Self-reported

Mr. Andrew Morehouse

Keywords

Self-reported

hunger, food insecurity, food security, food, food hardship, poverty, community service learning, elders, food bank, low-income, Massachusetts

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Also Known As

The Food Bank

EIN

04-2751023

 Number

6303983221

Physical Address

97 N. Hatfield Rd

Hatfield, 01038

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

In fiscal year 2015, we distributed 9.9 million lbs. of food, including 2 million lbs. of vegetables, exceeding our goal for the year.

In addition, we assisted 906 individuals to receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Food Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps.

The annual economic impact of the total SNAP benefits alone was $3.89 million.

Combined, our effort to distribute food and secure SNAP benefits provided the equivalent of 9.2 million meals to more than 211,000 individuals at risk of hunger.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Food Distribution

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is the umbrella organization for the emergency food network in our region, bringing nutritious food directly and through more than 200 local front-line food assistance providers to feed more than 223,000 people at risk of hunger. In 2016, we distributed more than 10.1 million pounds of food -- enough for about 8.3 million meals to nourish families, children, elders, and adults.

Our warehouse and delivery services provide healthy food both to Food Bank member agencies like meal sites, shelters, and food pantries, and directly to households in neighborhoods with high rates of child hunger through our Mobile Food Bank.

Our work includes:
• Food distribution to approximately 200 local food assistance programs, such as meal sites, food pantries, shelters, childcare and senior centers, rehabilitation facilities, and residential and transitional programs

• Direct door-to-door food delivery service to 125 emergency assistance agencies that cannot afford to come to The Food Bank warehouse

While we are constantly seeking innovative, long-term ways to address hunger and food insecurity, we also recognize that the foundation of The Food Bank’s work is to alleviate immediate need for food among our most vulnerable neighbors. With the economy forcing more and more people to seek assistance, we are working to make sure that Food Distribution services – the essential programs that bring food to those in need – are strong.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

11,827,980

Program 2

Brown Bag: Food for Elders

Since 1983, Brown Bag: Food for Elders has been one of The Food Bank’s core programs made possible by the work of nearly 700 volunteers, most of them elders themselves. About 7,500 elders with lower incomes across western Massachusetts’ four counties participate in the program, receiving a free bag of healthy groceries once a month at one of 90+ distribution sites in towns and cities in our region.

Nutritious Brown Bag groceries enable elders to make easy meals and eat a balanced diet, which is especially important to mitigate nutrition-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

None

Budget

824,709

Program 3

SNAP Outreach and Enrollment

The Food Bank’s SNAP Outreach and Enrollment assists food insecure households to determine their eligibility and to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (formerly known as food stamps). This 100% federal resource is underutilized in Massachusetts. Last year, we assisted more than 923 individuals to receive monthly SNAP benefits, representing a total economic impact of $4.3 million annually to our local economy. Our nutrition education encourages participants to purchase healthy food with their SNAP benefits, which may only be used to purchase unprepared food items. Federal and state authorities closely monitor SNAP for fraud and abuse.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

276,846

Program 4

Mobile Food Bank

In 2016, The Food Bank distributed bi-weekly or monthly 1.1 million lbs. of healthy food, primarily fresh produce, directly to 28,461 (unduplicated) individuals at 14 distribution points in high-poverty areas.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

2,024,448

Program 5

Nutrition Education

Hunger is not simply about the lack of food; it is also about the lack of nutritious food.

Families that experience or are at risk of hunger are also likely to be malnourished due to lack of access to nutritious foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A lack of adequate transportation and full-line grocery stores within walking distance, combined with an abundance of fast food restaurants and processed foods, has created “food deserts” in low-income areas, with a measurable negative impact on health and nutrition. These characteristics are highly correlated with increased rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, premature death, and other health problems.

The Food Bank’s Nutrition program offers 200 local feeding programs and hundreds of our SNAP clients a variety of approaches to help people develop healthier eating and shopping habits.

Taste tests and healthy recipes: Food Bank staff offer nutrition consultation during food distribution hours at food pantries, meal sites, Brown Bag for Elders sites and our Mobile Food Bank. When clients visit these sites for meals or groceries, they can also access resources including basic nutrition tips and healthy meal planning suggestions; taste healthy recipes prepared with food pantry ingredients; and get recipes to combine these ingredients with more whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and spices.

Nutrition Education: Free workshops are offered to Food Bank member agencies and at Brown Bag and Mobile Food Bank sites on basic nutrition and healthy eating. These workshops serve the staff of emergency food programs to guide them in offering better choices to their clients; help community members at emergency food sites provide more nutritious food to their families; and assist elders at our Brown Bag sites in fulfilling their unique dietary needs.

ServSafe: The Food Bank periodically offers ServSafe certification training courses to member agencies at a significantly discounted rate, to insure that staff at food preparation sites have received the required food safety training.

Nutrition Tips: “From the Food Bank Kitchen” articles are written bi-weekly and are included in the Food Bank’s NewsBites publication sent to all member agencies. These are also posted on our website and provide a great source for easy, healthy nutrition ideas and recipes.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

137,046

Program 6

Agency Relations

Agency Relations is responsible for recruiting and screening new local feeding programs to become members of The Food Bank's programs and for monitoring and inspecting our 200 existing member programs of our regional emergency food network

Through Agency Relations, we also provide capacity building workshops, networking support to share best practices, and guidance to develop growth plans in order to receive financial support to achieve them.

Last year, we provided $75,000 in small grants mainly to purchase coolers and freezers to store perishable food such as produce and frozen meats.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

370,319

Program 7

Education and Advocacy

At The Food Bank, we lead the community in advocating for change, bringing issues of hunger to the forefront and empowering people to work towards developing solutions. We regularly educate the public through speaking engagements, the media and social media. We also actively recruit volunteers to participate in our many programs and learn about The Food Bank and hunger in our region.

In 2016, we launched a Task Force to End Hunger, composed of 24 diverse thought leaders from across our region. The Task Force devoted the year to learn about hunger and food insecurity, and to develop long-term solutions to end hunger. This spring, the Task Force issued its Action Plan to End Hunger (available on our website under Special Initiatives), which include three priorities: 1) Erase the stigma associated with hunger; 2) Develop a mechanism to provide integrated services for those who need them, and 3) Address issues related to public policy. Our public policy priorities are located on our website under "Advocate" in the "Get Involved" section.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

191,682

Program 8

Food Bank Farm

Since 1992, The Food Bank has owned a 59-acre farm in Hadley, MA, which is renown for its "Hadley loam" -- among the richest soils in the world. We partner with a local organic farmer (Mountain View Farm CSA) to grow organic vegetables on 34 acres. In lieu of cash rent, the farmer gives us about 120,000 lbs. of fresh organic vegetables that we distribute to local feeding sites.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$0.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    1. To distribute at least 10 million lbs. of food annually.
    2. To provide every food-insecure household in our region access to the same amount of food regardless of where they live.
    3. To increase the availability of nutritious food to our neighbors in need.
    4. To equip our region's network of food assistance providers with the capacity to feed more healthy food to more people more equitably.
    5. To lead the community to end hunger through food assistance, education, advocacy and collaborative solutions that address the underlying causes of hunger so that we can "shorten the line" for food assistance.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    1. FEED our neighbors in need by providing more meals to more people more equitably.
    2. LEAD and engage the community to end hunger
    3. STRENGTHEN The Food Bank and the Network to operate responsibly, effectively, safely and sustainably
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    We have :
    • A committed and professional staff and Board of Directors focused on our strategic plan
    • Established and effective relationship with Network member agencies and other community partners, including municipal, state and federal legislators.
    • Strong and growing support from public and private donors of food, funds and friends (volunteers at all levels)
    • Strong cash flow
    • Financial assets to support emergencies, existing capital replacement and improvements
    • Support from Feeding America – the nation's association of food banks – and our peer food banks in New England
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    1. We reach or exceed our annual meals goal through emergency food distribution and SNAP outreach and enrollment.
    2. We distribute the same amount of meals per person in need to each of the four counties of Western Massachusetts.
    3. Every year, we distribute more fresh vegetables and protein-rich frozen meats.
    4. Our 200+ emergency network member agencies have the capacity to distribute more healthy food to more people more equitably.
    5. We launch successfully new initiatives to address the underlying causes of hunger.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In fiscal year 2015, we:

    1. Expanded our Mobile Food Bank truck service to 13 distribution sites, providing fresh vegetables and other food items to feed tens of thousands of individuals at risk of hunger.
    2. Assisted more individuals than the prior year to apply and receive SNAP benefits so that they could purchase food to feed their families.
    3. Provided more nutrition education to youth, adults and elders so that they could eat healthier food and stretch their food dollars.
    4. Invested in dozens of local feeding programs to increase their capacity to receive and distribute more healthy food like fresh vegetables and protein-rich frozen meats.
    5. Led education and advocacy campaigns to raise awareness and secure more resources, including funds and volunteers, to feed our neighbors in need.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties in Western Massachusetts

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

Food acquisition - We need funds to buy at least 1 million lbs. of fresh vegetables to meet our food distribution targets. Food Security Screening - We need funds to implement a food security screening initiative that we are launching in partnership with a community health center (Holyoke, MA) and several non-profit organizations that provide basic human needs (housing, child care, transportation, financial literacy, subsidized CSA farm shares). The health center screens its pediatric patients for "food insecurity" (uncertainty of food availability) and refers food-insecure households to The Food Bank. We provide access to healthy food in patient household's neighborhood, SNAP application assistance, nutrition education and case management to access basic needs resources. Farm acquisition - We need to complete our fundraising to purchase a farm in order to grow vegetables in partnership with a local farmer for distribution to food-insecure households who cannot afford adequate levels of food, much less fresh local vegetables. (This would be the 2nd farm that we own.)

Affiliations + Memberships

Feeding America

photos




External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE FOOD BANK OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS, INC.
Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Mr. Andrew Morehouse

BIO

Andrew Morehouse is responsible for the overall management of The Food Bank. He also engages in public education and advocacy, carries out fundraising and "friendraising," and serves on several non-profit boards of directors. Morehouse has served as the Executive Director since 2005 and has devoted his entire professional career to the non-profit sector and, specifically, to social and economic justice issues. Prior to The Food Bank, he was the founding director for ten years of a community development corporation devoted to asset-building strategies of, for, and by low-income residents in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Morehouse has also worked in Washington, DC in community-based programs in the Salvadoran refugee community and in public policy think tanks on U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. Morehouse has a B.A. in Anthropology from Bates College, a M.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, and a M.B.A. from the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Morehouse has traveled extensively in Latin America, and is bilingual and bicultural.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Brandon Braxton

MassDevelopment

Term: Jan 2015 - Dec 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?