Food Link Response to COVID-19
During the Covid-19 outbreak, Food Link's incredible volunteers and Operations staff have been working around the clock, 7 days a week, for 6 weeks straight to collect as much fresh, nutritious food as possible and deliver it safely to those in need. While continuing to collect from our usual stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, we are simultaneously collecting pallets full of food from every part of the food system -- farms, wholesale warehouses, stores, schools, and more. We have taken that food to established food pantries and pop-up food distribution centers in towns across eastern Massachusetts including, Chelsea, Lowell, Lawrence, Medford, Waltham, Arlington, and Lexington.
As you may have read, in Massachusetts, 38% of residents now face food insecurity vs. 9% before the Covid-19 outbreak. The number of people in need of food quadrupled practically overnight. Additionally, national and global food systems have been disrupted at every level: from farming to transportation to retail. These concurrent emergencies mean that Food Link must rely on its nimble nature to deliver food safely to organizations that remain open, and to collect food from outlets along the food supply chain where food previously was not going to waste.
In numbers, since the Covid-19 shutdown began, Food Link has:
Provided the equivalent of 75,000 meals to those in need
Pivoted to supply food to community partners in ways that permit contact-free distribution
Distributed food to 15 new community partners
Collected 90,000 pounds of food (twice the usual amount)
Coordinated food collection from 30 new food donors across the food chain
Saved $150,000 worth of food that might otherwise have gone to waste
It has been exhausting for the volunteers and staff who have been doing this work non-stop. We do it because we believe in the power of neighbors helping neighbors. Like everyone, we look forward to less turbulent times.
Operations Address: 888 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476
Mailing Address (for donations): 17 Brattle Street, Suite 17 Arlington, MA 02476