Photo of a food pantry line by lou jones.
The Cambridge Community Foundation is committed to thinking big and pursuing bold, innovative ideas to solve our city’s most pressing problems. In October 2023, we announced our new strategic direction for making a greater impact in the community. The new Food Access and Security Initiative, our first step, aims to build a safety net for families in crisis by strengthening Cambridge’s emergency food system.
The Food Access and Security Initiative is driven by the Foundation’s commitment to social equity, and grounded in our ever-growing understanding that food insecurity is a critical obstacle that intersects with income disparity, financial and economic uncertainty, racial inequity, and other complex issues. With 1 in 8 Cambridge residents experiencing food insecurity as of 2021, complex issues require thoughtful, strategic solutions.
The Initiative will invest in nonprofit organizations and collaborative efforts to improve and make changes to the Cambridge food system. CCF has a history of addressing food access and security. This new Initiative builds on past work and focuses on sector communication and collaboration, program sustainability and expansion, and capacity building.
Join us! For information on how you can support Cambridge through the Food Access and Security Initiative, please contact Michal Rubin, Vice President of Development at [email protected].
On October 14, 2023, CCF announced an investment of $1,122,000 in partnership with seven local nonprofits.
“In Cambridge, a city with so much prosperity, no one should go hungry and yet many of our families are making hard decisions about where to put their dollars as they meet basic needs,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation. “Food insecurity is a huge problem today. But by drawing on data, building on our past investments, connecting and collaborating with food security nonprofits, and garnering the support of local donors, we can solve food insecurity in Cambridge. This way of working captures the innovative spirit of Cambridge.”
Eight grants totaling $946,000, funded through the Initiative, will enable projects carried out by the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC), CEOC (Food Pantry Network), Daily Table, East End House, Food for Free, Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Mass Farmer’s Market, and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. In addition, $20,000 was allocated to enhance the SNAP match program in Cambridge and Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House received $156,000 in infrastructure support made possible with grant funds from Massachusetts CDBG CV (CARES ACT) in partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC).
The grants, most of which provide three years of funding, will support sector communication and collaboration, program sustainability and expansion, and capacity building. Organizations will work collectively to increase access to food that is healthy, culturally appropriate, and offered with dignity; create a stronger, sustainable food pantry network through investments in infrastructure, staffing and volunteer capacity, and expand and diversify food programs, farmer’s markets, food rescue efforts. The organizations were selected by an advisory council that includes experts in food security and individuals with lived experience. In addition to grantmaking, the Foundation’s role is to align ongoing efforts so that the Cambridge emergency food system is stronger and more efficient.
Read more in our press release about this initial investment from our Food Access and Security Initiative.
The application period for this Initiative has passed. You may still find information on eligibility requirements below.