Food Link volunteers, van

Food Link Inc. has been selected as one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program -- the second such Arlington award announced in two days. A similar grant was announced for the Arlington Youth Counseling Center on June 7.

Food Link is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that, since 2012, has rescued surplus fresh food and delivered it to community organizations, serving people in need throughout eastern Massachusetts. The Arlington-based organization was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process.

At left, Food Link cofounder Julie Kremer, Executive Director Rachel Albert, staff and volunteers pose with Cummings Foundation representative Judith Castor in front of one of Food Link’s four food-rescue vehicles. 

As many as 1.6 million Massachusetts residents faced food insecurity in the last two years. Food Link rescues 1.4 million pounds of food a year – the equivalent of 1.2 million meals – and distributes it to more than 80 community organizations serving 75,000 people facing food insecurity. As a result, Food Link prevents 411,600 pounds of CO2 pollution, equivalent to removing 44 cars from the road for a year.

Rachel N. Albert
Rachel N. Albert,
Food Link executive director:
"Grants comes at pivotal time."

"Food Link is immensely honored by Cummings Foundation’s desire to make a long-term investment in our relationship-driven approach to food rescue, which centers the choice and dignity of
recipients,” said Rachel Albert, executive director at Food Link, in a June 8 news release.

“This grant comes at a pivotal time as Food Link develops its strategic plan to address rising food insecurity and increased environmental stressors in Massachusetts. It's hard to overstate the impact of knowing we will have $50,000 per year of guaranteed funding from Cummings Foundation as a solid base for our other fund-raising efforts."

Responding to a request for specifics from YourArlington, she wrote: "The $500,000 grant from Cummings Foundation will allow Food Link to expand its staff to accommodate its higher level of food rescue while planning for the future ....

"Food Link aims to increase its annual food collection to 1.7 million to 2 million pounds of food per year and deepen its impact in the community through intentional cultivation of partnerships within the food-justice system."

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative,
Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property.

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes in the release. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.”

More than 90 volunteers

With the help of about 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to Greater Boston nonprofits.

Food Link is a community organization that rescues fresh food, alleviates hunger and contributes to environmental sustainability. Food Link's vision is a food system without waste, in which everyone has enough. Food Link’s operations hub is next to Summer Street in Arlington and serves 55 communities throughout eastern Massachusetts. Learn about Food Link on its website at www.foodlinkma.org.

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The foundation operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn and Cummings Health Sciences LLC.


Dec. 19, 2021: Food Link's new exec outlines goals, offers personal insights

 


This news announcement was published Wednesday, June 8, 2022.