This past fall, I joined the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Inc. (MVFB) as director of development. As a resident of Greater Lowell and host and producer of the cable television show “Dacey’s Divas” about women making a difference, I have been keenly aware of the struggle by so many to make ends meet. I’m proud to be part of this community-supported nonprofit organization and its efforts to meet the basic human need for adequate nutrition and freedom from hunger.
Established in 1991 as a program of the Middlesex Shelter (now known as the Lowell Transitional Living Center), MVFB has evolved and grown from serving six agencies in donated storefront space and a rented truck to providing food from a 20,000-square-foot warehouse at 735 Broadway St. in Lowell. Resources include dry storage on three levels, a refrigerated building with vertical racking storage system, walk-in frozen food storage rooms and three trucks — two with capabilities to transport refrigerated and frozen foods.
MVFB currently provides emergency food relief to 65,000 to 70,000 individuals each month, and the need continues to grow. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that your neighbor, or the child sitting next to your child on the school bus, doesn’t have enough food to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Only through cooperative efforts can society initiate change, develop strategies to alleviate hunger and work toward improving quality of life for all people.
We are grateful to the community for responding to our own need for assistance.
Last month’s Gobble Up Hunger campaign was an overwhelming success, thanks to the local corporations, schools, Boy and Girl Scouts, churches, families and individuals who answered our call to action. In fact, we far surpassed our goal of 1,000 turkeys or the monetary equivalent. In all, we collected more than $11,000, 232 turkeys and 8,393 pounds of non-perishable food. Now we’re focused on inspiring a similarly successful food drive for the Christmas holiday.
I’m proud to introduce the first in a series of regular “Dacey’s Food For Thought” columns. Sincere thanks to The Sun for the opportunity to share information about the MVFB team’s programs, its dedicated board members and the extensive network of food pantries, meal programs, shelters, day and residential programs and other affiliated agencies through which we serve our low-income, homeless and hungry neighbors throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.
Help us help others! For more information about MVFB, call at (978) 454-7272 or visit www.mvfb.org.