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Greater Boston Food Bank Gave Out More Food In March, April Than Any Other Month In Its Existence

The line for food extends out of the parking lot and down Pond Street at a food pantry at St. Mary Parish in Waltham. People lined up on foot and in their vehicles at St. Mary Parish in Waltham where nearly 3,000 bags of groceries were passed out to families in need. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The line for food extends out of the parking lot and down Pond Street at a food pantry at St. Mary Parish in Waltham. People lined up on foot and in their vehicles at St. Mary Parish in Waltham where nearly 3,000 bags of groceries were passed out to families in need. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The Greater Boston Food Bank distributed more food in both March and April than in any other month in the food bank's 40-year history, the organization said as a new survey shows a sharp rise in food insecurity in eastern Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GBFB said new projections from Feeding America show that 1 in 8 people in the eastern part of the state is expected to experience food insecurity in 2020 — a 59% increase over the most recent Feeding America report which showed 1 in 13 people at risk of being food insecure this year.

"Unfortunately, these new food insecurity projections do not surprise us as we have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for food in our region," Catherine D'Amato, GBFB president and CEO, said. "The emergency food network in Eastern Massachusetts, which includes 550 GBFB partner agencies, has shown incredible resiliency during this difficult time and continues to heroically adapt to the needs of an ever-increasing number of people, many of whom have never had to rely on a food pantry for assistance to feed their family."

The GBFB said it distributed 8.1 million pounds of food in March and another 9.5 million pounds of food in April. The food bank said its highest average monthly distribution prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was 5.7 million pounds.

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