Welcome to the Food For Free family, Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program!

CWBP logo wide In two days, many of us will lay out a Thanksgiving feast and welcome family, friends, and chosen family into our homes. Well, here at Food For Free, we’re excited to welcome a new “family member” to our table: Food For Free is adopting the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program!

Like peanut butter & jelly

One weekend's backpack

Like so many great combinations—peanut butter & jelly, cereal & milk—Food For Free’s adoption of the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program (CWBP) really feels like a natural fit: “We’ve grown a lot, and we needed a permanent, sustainable home,” says CWBP founder Alanna Mallon. “Food For Free has been with us since the pilot in 2012, when I was picking up 20 pieces of fruit each week. "As the program grew, Food For Free was there, growing along with us, never missing a beat, now delivering close to 800 pieces of fruit each week. For Food For Free to adopt the program as it continues to grow makes a lot of sense.”

Like Home Delivery: a way to fill an unmet need

An example of some of the great combos a weekend backpack might contain.

Oranges provided for CWBP by Food For Free—with a cute cartoon from our driver, Adam 🙂

Food For Free is about providing access to healthy foods for people who don’t have access. Primarily we do that through Food Rescue & Delivery, by partnering with outside organizations & programs—an example would be when we deliver vegetables to a pantry, or fruit to an afterschool program,” explains our Executive Director, Sasha Purpura. “However, when we see a need that isn’t being filled, we step in: “We’ve done this before—in 2001, the City of Cambridge asked us to address the fact that many senior residents and people with disabilities were struggling with nutrition because they could not physically get to a food pantry, and in response we created our Home Delivery program. Like Home Delivery, the backpack program is a way to fulfill an unmet need in our community.

CWBP’s founder joins the team

CWBP Alanna & Kelly

Here's Alanna sporting a FFF T-shirt at our first K-Lo Market!

Alanna will be joining Food For Free as a Program Director, bringing her experience and connections as a Education Liaison at Cambridge City Hall, a longtime Cambridge resident, and a Cambridge Public Schools parent. In her current roles, Alanna has already worked with Food For Free to help establish the K-Lo Market, as well as our two new school-based pantries, which just opened this month. We’re super excited about this new addition to our family of programs, and we hope you’ll join us in welcoming the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program—and the families it serves—to the Food For Free table!

Hurrah and welcome, Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program!

Read the rest of our Fall Newsletter!
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