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Big News! Welcome to the family, Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program!
We have some big news, and we are so excited to share it with you! As of January 1, Food For Free has adopted the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program as one of our own programs. As if that weren’t cool enough, Alanna Mallon—founder of the program—will be joining us as a full time Program Director—a new role here at Food For Free. The Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program was founded to fill a previously unmet need: helping children who depend heavily on in-school nutrition programs to eat well through weekend. The program has been growing steadily over the past three years and has been starting to feel the need for a permanent home. Bringing CWBP in-house will help the program expand to reach more kids, by providing infrastructure, sharing resources, and creating economies of scale. And, by providing program staff with more support, we can free up their time to evaluate the program and document its practices, which will help CWBP to achieve its goal of becoming a model for replication in other cities. This change also offers an opportunity for Food For Free to bring on Alanna Mallon, a long time Cambridge resident with deep connections to the schools, to help us put a stronger focus on unmet need. As program director, in Alanna will oversee the Backpack Program, Home Delivery, and Field of Greens. She will also be able to explore new opportunities to reach those who currently lack access to the healthy, nutritious foods they need. Alanna has already helped Food For Free to participate in the creation of three school-based food pantries at Kennedy Longfellow, Graham and Parks, and MLK elementary schools. We are excited to welcome both Alanna and the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program into our family and, with them, to continue our work ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, income, or ability, has access to the fresh, nutritious food we all need.