Started in 2013, the Greater Boston Hunger Network is a coalition of 32 food pantries, soup kitchens, and food-related programs in 20 towns around Greater Boston.
“The point of a hunger network is to get more and better food to the people who need it,” says Alison Kaufman, JF&CS Director of Hunger and Nutrition and founder and leader of this important enterprise. “It provides an ongoing way for food programs to learn from one another, address common challenges, and promote best practices in order to reach more people with more food, more efficiently.”
Although the idea of a Hunger Network is not original, no such entity existed in the Greater Boston suburbs. Eleven Hunger Networks already existed such as the ones on Cape Cod, on the North Shore, and in the City of Boston. Alison had heard about hunger networks through contacts at the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). Her curiosity piqued, she went to visit the one on Cape Cod. “I witnessed a group of professionals working to address hunger in a coordinated way, sharing ideas and helping each other. I felt that we needed something like that in this area. We are unique in that the suburbs of Greater Boston are thought of as relatively affluent. But there are pockets of hunger even here.”