The Greater Boston Food Bank honors Representative Andy X. Vargas as Public Advocate of the Year
BOSTON – Jan. 24, 2020 – The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, honored State Representative Andres Vargas (D-3rd Essex) with its House of Representatives Public Advocate of the Year Award for his unwavering support as a co-sponor of the Breakfast After the Bell legislation.
The Public Advocate of the Year Award recognizes public officials who have shown a strong commitment to the provision and protection of emergency food assistance food policy in our Commonwealth and ensuring those struggling with hunger have enough to eat every day.
“Representative Vargas has been deeply engaged with The Greater Boston Food Bank and Rise and Shine Massachusetts,” said Catherine D’Amato, GBFB’s president and CEO. “As a co-sponsor of the Breakfast After the Bell legislation in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, his work will ensure that all students have access to a healthy breakfast as they start their school day.”
The Breakfast After the Bell bill will require all high-poverty K-12 public schools to offer breakfast after the instructional day begins. Expanding the window for school breakfast would increase food access and decrease food insecurity for approximately 150,000 children across the Commonwealth.
“I’m honored to be recognized, but this really has been a team effort,” said Representative Vargas. “In addition to the advocates of the Rise and Shine Coalition, I really want to applaud Haverhill’s Superintendent, Margaret Marotta for her partnership and courageous leadership in the district, which further allowed us to champion this at the state level. I’m also thinking about the Haverhill kids I grew up with that started school days without breakfast– this award is for them, too.”
The Public Advocate of the Year Awards were presented at GBFB’s Partner Appreciation Day event on Friday, January 24, 2020. Held at GBFB’s Boston facility, the event recognizes both individuals and organizations who have made invaluable contributions to helping the hunger-relief organization achieve its vision to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028.
Vargas’ co-sponsor of the Breakfast After the Bell legislation State Representative Aaron Vega (D-5th Hampden) was also honored with the House of Representatives Public Advocate of the Year Award as well as State Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-1st Bristol and Plymouth) who was honored with the Senate Public Advocate of the Year Award for his efforts in helping to increase funding for the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) to its highest level ever at $20 million. MEFAP is the funding program for the purchase of nutritious food that goes to the four food banks across the state, which benefits over 800 emergency food programs. The funding is also used to purchase locally sourced food from over 40 farms and Massachusetts-based vendors.
About The Greater Boston Food Bank:
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. GBFB provides the equivalent of nearly 57 million healthy meals annually, distributed through its network of 530 member agencies across Eastern Massachusetts. GBFB operates four direct service programs at nearly 70 sites throughout the area. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB serves more than 140,000 people every month with a vision to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028. For more information, visit us
at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617.427.5200.