Foundations join together to meet Mass. residents’ basic winter needs

Collaborative effort drives more than $3 million to local nonprofits, establishes website to encourage donations

December 4, 2011

BOSTON – Recognizing the challenges facing thousands of Massachusetts families this winter, a consortium of 21 philanthropic organizations is directing more than $3 million to address the basic needs of residents throughout the Commonwealth. As of December 5th, $3,066,980 has been pledged toward the effort, with more grants expected over the coming months.

This is the third year the effort has engaged the Commonwealth’s foundation community, inspiring the allocation of resources for organizations that directly address the food, fuel and shelter needs of Massachusetts residents. The group has also set up a website, , to give individual donors direct links to organizations that accept financial donations and/or volunteers to help.

Among the partners committed to the effort are the Boston Foundation, the Eos Foundation and the Highland Street Foundation, who were the founding members of the collaborative. They are joined by the Albert W. Rice Charitable Foundation (Bank of America, N.A., Trustee), the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Brookline Community Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Cornerstone Charitable Foundation (Bank of America, N.A., Trustee), the Foundation for MetroWest, the Foundation To Be Named Later, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Horace Moses Charitable Foundation (Bank of America, N.A., Trustee), the John W. Boynton Fund (Bank of America, N.A., Trustee), the Klarman Family Foundation, the Linde Family Foundation, the Lucia B. Morrill Charitable Foundation (Bank of America, N.A., Trustee), the Pearson Foundation Fund (Bank of America, N.A., Trustee), United Way of Hampshire County, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and United Way of Pioneer Valley. Associated Grant Makers played a critical role coordinating the collaborative effort.

The funders are united in their efforts to provide critical support as a way to shine a light on the ongoing need of people throughout Massachusetts that was triggered by the economic crisis.

“Our continued partnership represents our commitment to reach out in an effective, coordinated way to those in need across the entire state of Massachusetts,” said Paul S. Grogan, President of the Boston Foundation. “The spike in requests for assistance from low- and middle-income families from all parts of the state has strained the resources of providers. We are determined not only to support these organizations, but to reach out to let people throughout Massachusetts know they can help as well.”

A report this fall from the Boston Foundation on poverty in Massachusetts, The Measure of Poverty , noted the sharp rise in requests for assistance to both governmental and nonprofit agencies. It cited a 2010 Nonprofit Finance Fund survey of Massachusetts nonprofits that noted 81% saw an increase in demand for their services; with more than half saying they could not fulfill all the needs of their constituents this year.

“These requests are coming from a wider group of people,” said Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation. “People who have never needed assistance and have no experience navigating the system are now looking for aid, and service providers are being stretched to the limits.”

The October snowstorm that dumped as much as 30 inches of snow on parts of Massachusetts and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands also placed an added strain on families, particularly in central and western Massachusetts, the Pioneer Valley and the Merrimack Valley, where outages of as long as a week or more meant spoiled food and lost wages.

“The need for food assistance has already been growing sharply, and not just in Greater Boston,” said Andrea Silbert, President of the Eos Foundation. “The need for food aid statewide, from the Pioneer Valley and Hampshire County to southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands is well documented. By working together as funders, we can have a more substantial impact to address the specific critical needs of citizens statewide.”

The rising cost of fuel adds another burden. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics pegged a 23.8% year-over-year increase in energy costs as the driving factor behind an increase in the consumer price index in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua metropolitan area between September 2010 and September 2011.

Recent surveys also note that while the Massachusetts housing market continues to suffer in the national downturn, the Greater Boston area has some of the highest rents in the nation – further challenging families in need of affordable or transitional housing.

“By sharing this information about our collaborative winter grantmaking efforts and the names of those organizations being supported, we hope to encourage other organizations and individuals to step up their support at this challenging time,” said Jeffrey Poulos, Executive Director of Associated Grant Makers.

A list of the grantees benefitting from the winter needs campaign is below. ( View an updated list on )

The list will continue to grow as the number of supporting organizations grows over the course of the winter. The collaborative will regularly update the list and provide links for consumers to learn more about the funding partners and the supported organizations at .

The list of grantees includes (as of 12/5/11):

  •  Action for Boston Community Development   
  •  Acton Food Pantry of Community Supper, Inc. 
  •  Advocates, Inc.   
  •  American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts   
  •  American Red Cross – Pioneer Valley Chapter  
  •  American Red Cross – Westfield Chapter   
  •  Amherst Survival Center  
  •  Ashland Emergency Fund 
  •  Bethany Hill School
  •  Boston Centers for Youth and Families
  •  Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
  •  Boston Medical Center Food Pantry  
  •  Boston Medical Grow Clinic   
  •  Bridge Over Troubled Waters 
  •  Brookline Safety Net
  •  Brookview Hours
  •  Cape Cod Times Needy Fund
  •  Catholic Charities
  •  Celebration International Church Food Pantry 
  •  Chelsea Neighborhood Developers/CONNECT
  •  Citizens Energy
  •  City Of Boston Dept. of Neighborhood Development “HeatWorks”
  •  City Mission Society
  •  City Year
  •  Community Action of Hampshire and Franklin Counties
  •  Community Gems
  •  Community Servings
  •  Community Teamwork, Inc.
  •  Cor Unum Meal Center
  •  Council on Churches/Hands of Hope
  •  Cradles to Crayons
  •  Daily Bread Food Pantry
  •  Dedham Food Pantry
  •  Easthampton Community Center
  •  Falmouth Service Center
  •  Family and Children’s Services of Greater Lynn
  •  Family Pantry
  •  The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
  •  The Food Project
  •  Friends of Boston’s Homeless
  •  Friends of the Homeless
  •  Grandma’s Pantry
  •  The Greater Boston Food Bank
  •  Heading Home
  •  Holliston Pantry Shelf
  •  The Home for Little Wanderers
  •  Horizons for Homeless Children
  •  Hudson Community Food Pantry
  •  Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters
  •  Jewish Family and Children’s Services
  •  Jewish Family Services of MetroWest
  •  JF&CS Family Table
  •  JRI Health
  •  Lexington Interfaith Food Pantry
  •  Lower Cape Outreach Council
  •  Lucy and Joe’s Food Pantry for Frail Elders
  •  Martha’s Vineyard Food Pantry
  •  Maynard Food Pantry
  •  Medfield Food Cupboard
  •  Medway Food Pantry/Medway Housing Authority
  •  Medway Village Food Pantry
  •  Merrimack Valley Food Bank
  •  Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
  •  MetroWest Interfaith Hospitality Network
  •  MetroWest Legal Services
  •  Middlesex Human Service Agency/Bristol Lodge Meals
  •  Millis Ecumenical Food Pantry
  •  Minuteman Senior Services
  •  Nantucket Food Pantry
  •  Nantucket Rental Assistance
  •  Natick Service Council, Inc. /Food Pantry
  •  National Consumer Law Center
  •  Needham Community Council
  •  The Neighborhood Corporation, Taunton
  •  Northampton Survival Center
  •  Open Pantry Community Services, Inc.
  •  Open Table, Inc. Concord & Maynar
  •  Pine Street Inn  
  •  A Place to Turn
  •  Project Bread/The Walk for Hunger
  •  Project Just Because, Inc.
  •  Rachel’s Table
  •  Room to Grow
  •  Rosie’s Place
  •  Roxbury Youthworks
  •  Sacred Heart Church Food Pantry
  •  Salvation Army/Good Neighbor Energy Fund
  •  Salvation Army/Holyoke
  •  Salvation Army/Northampton Service unit
  •  Salvation Army/Springfield
  •  Salvation Army/Waltham Food Pantry
  •  St. Bridget’s Food Pantry
  •  St. Francis House
  •  Small Can Be Big
  •  Stow Food Pantry
  •  Sudbury Community Food Pantry
  •  Tri-CAP
  •  United Parishes of Southborough Food Pantry
  •  United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
  •  United Way Tri-County, Curtis Family Dinner Program
  •  Urban Edge Housing Corp.
  •  Walpole Community Food Pantry
  •  Waltham Fields Community Farm
  •  Wellesley Food Pantry
  •  West End House Boys and Girls Club
  •  Westborough Food Pantry
  •  Westwood Council on Aging
  •  Women’s Lunch Place
  •  Worcester County Food Bank
  •  Yad Chessed
  •  Youthbuild Boston