LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR: Brenda Swain
It is with great excitement that I share with you FSC’s continued movement toward increasing fresh, nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits in our Pantry and programs. On page 3 of this newsletter, you will read about our 2016 statistics and Strategic Initiatives. In this column, I am focusing on our relationship with The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), and our local community of food donors which includes: our Grocery Bill of the Month members ($40,000 in 2016); grant providers such as United Way, Project Bread, and myriad others that support our fresh initiatives; and thousands of individuals who bring food to our door or donate at bins and drives throughout the community. This combined wealth of resources has enabled FSC to reach new benchmarks and provide more fresh and healthy food choices. Our goal is to increase fresh produce distribution by 5% over each of the next 5 years.
Specifically, I wish to share information about our largest food resource, the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP). Much of the information that follows has been provided through the GBFB’s website. Established in 1995, MEFAP ensures that citizens in need have access to a supply of quality food in the MA Commonwealth. The program is implemented through a unique partnership between the State and a private, non-profit food distribution network made up of four regional food banks (Food Bank Coalition). Funding is provided by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
MEFAP is a critical piece of the Commonwealth’s budget that allows GBFB to purchase quality, nutrient-rich foods and locally grown fresh produce that is distributed year-round to those in need through the Food Bank Coalition of Massachusetts and its network of 845 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Each year GBFB advocates for this funding in the state budget. FSC received a value of $209,785 or 332,828 pounds of product from MEFAP during our last fiscal year. We received all of this wonderful product at zero cost to our pantry which allowed us to better utilize the food dollars we receive from our grants and Grocery Bill of the Month donors as well as to expand the range of valued nutritional items that we offer to our clients.
At FSC we periodically request your assistance in advocating for this MEFAP line item in our state budget. Without this amazing resource we would not have been able to set our goals to increase fresh produce distribution over the next five years. Our relationship with the GBFB and our state legislators is critical to the work of feeding our neighbors in need. Please click here to find out how you can help us to advocate for this critical resource!
FSC's EMERALD HOUSE THRIFT SHOP EXPANSION
Calling all potential eyes and ears! As outlined in our Strategic Initiatives, expansion of our FSC Thrift Shop is high on our list of priorities because it provides an increased revenue stream in support of all FSC client services. We are asking you, our friends and supporters, to join us in our search for the right space and even perhaps a generous gift or piece of information that will bring this goal of expansion to reality.
For the last 15 years our Emerald House location (town-owned) on Davisville Road has been a wonderful community boutique. Our dedicated volunteers have created a niche in the thrift shop business in a very limited space, 750 square feet of selling space to be exact! Just imagine what we can do with three to four times the space and a processing area to adequately receive and prepare all donations! We are pleased to be partnering with Jim Fox at Kinlin Grover in our search for space. If you have any ideas for a new location, (approximately 4000 - 7000 square feet), preferably on one floor with the potential for a strong retail presence, please give our Director a call. Thank you for your continued support of The Emerald House at its current location and we know you share our excitement in the next chapter of FSC’s thrift shop!
Just as the days begin to warm again in spring, we are planning for when days turn a little bit chillier and Falmouth children head back to school in the fall. Backpacks filled with brand-new school supplies, a complete set of back-to-school clothes plus a warm sweatshirt will soon be prepared for Falmouth children as part of our annual Fresh Start Program. But we could not run this program without your assistance! If you would like to help fill the profile of a child or contribute a backpack or school supplies, please contact Sue Ball at 508-564-4781. We especially need sturdy backpacks for kids 12-18! Thank you for helping give all children a Fresh Start!
NEED A NUMBER FOR THE FALMOUTH ROAD RACE?
It’s been a mild winter and you are keeping up with your training regimen in order to meet your goal of running the iconic Falmouth Road Race. The only glitch? You need a good cause to run for! If you need a number, please contact Judy at 774 - 392 -1173 or email her at email@example.com. You can help us raise critical funds and reduce local hunger while running in a world famous race.
Become a member of our sustainer’s program, The Grocery Bill of-the-Month Club,for as little as $25 and you will be providing a bag full of fresh food and vegetables to a neighbor in need— 100% of your monthly donationgoes to helping FSC fulfill its commitment to distribute the healthiest food to its clients.
FSC wants this Club to be easy and accessible to join—perhaps you get co-workers, workout buddies, Mah Jong or bridge partners to make a group effort; and parents with children might make this a family effort.
Please sign up today—and make your first monthly donation by clicking here! Thank you!
FALMOUTH SERVICE CENTER
STRATEGIC INITIATIVES FOR 2017-2018
1. Distribution of healthy fresh produce to increase by 5% each year for the next five years. In preparation for this expansion FSC will:
a. Examine and redesign flow in the fresh area of the Pantry; this will include investigating other spaces and functions throughout the building for potential reallocation and use of space; and
b. Expand our sustainer's program, The Grocery Bill of the Month, to support expanded purchasing of veggies not provided by weekly GBFB delivery.
2. Expand revenue stream from our Thrift Shop to enable us to better support the expansion of our client services.
a. Seek new space for thrift shop enterprise to accommodate larger sales area for expanded diversity of merchandise as well as increased sales;
b. Ensure ample space for merchandise processing, and
c. Employ a part-time manager to oversee growth, increase revenue stream, and support our wonderful volunteers.
3. Strategically expand staffing to support the growth in programming over the past decade.
A HEARTFELT THANK YOU
The Falmouth Service Center, Inc. Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and most importantly our neighbors who need us, wish to offer a heartfelt THANK YOU to the generous donors who support the annual Falmouth Enterprise Community Fund. The current Editor, Bill Hough, and former Editor, Margaret Hough Russell, and their amazing team at The Falmouth Enterprise donate their time and media network to raise much needed funds and stress the importance of this spirited giving campaign.
A little history brings the commitment of The Falmouth Enterprise and its support of the Community Fund into perspective. The first year, in 1994, the Community Fund raised $12,700 for FSC. By 2000, the community contributed $70,000. In 2008, despite the national financial crisis, Falmouth contributed $162,700. And for the year ending December 31, 2016, the Fund had contributions of $125,600.
This partnership between the community and The Enterprise is a critical cog in our wheel of support and we are incredibly grateful.
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