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January 18, 2021
Grants for Emergency, Food Aid, Women and Children; ED Moves On

December 22, 2020 — Cambridge Community Foundation awards $40K for emergency relief. Cape Cod Healthcare gives $30K to Cape Cod food pantries. Rachel’s Table hosts virtual food competition to help feed hungry families. Berkshire Bank donates $30K to Massachusetts food banks. Southeastern Mass. nonprofits granted $25K for vulnerable women and children. New Rep leader stepping down to head Mass Cultural Council.

Cambridge Community Foundation Awards $40K for Emergency Relief

The Cambridge Community Foundation in Cambridge last week announced it granted $40,000 “in surprise, need-inspired grants” to 11 nonprofits that are addressing emergency issues, including food insecurity, housing insecurity and shelter for the homeless, cash for urgent needs, access to connectivity, and emergency childcare.

Geeta Pradhan, president of the foundation, said, “Cambridge is facing a startling reality—one in eight of our neighbors is hungry and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This winter will be long and hard for many.

“We see the need every day, in the food lines near our Central Square office and throughout the city. Our nonprofits – large and small have their hands full trying to meet the overwhelming need. With support from hundreds of donors, we can get money to these organizations in quick and simple ways.”

Receiving the grants, ranging in size from $2,000 to $5,000, were the following:

  • Cambridge City Growers
  • Community For Us, By Us
  • Community Fridge at Harvard Square
  • CRLS Falcon’s Market
  • Mass Ave Baptist Church – Project Manna
  • My Brother’s Keeper
  • Pentecostal Tabernacle Food Pantry
  • Salvation Army – Cambridge Food Pantry
  • St. James’s Episcopal Church – Helping Hand Food Pantry
  • St. Paul Parish Food Pantry
  • St. Paul A.M.E. Church Food Pantry
  • The Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston
  • Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Lowell
  • Worcester County Food Bank, Shrewsbury

Cape Cod Healthcare Gives $30K to Cape Cod Food Pantries

Cape Cod Healthcare, based in Hyannis, a nonprofit health care provider, which operates Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital, recently announced it provided $30,000 in grant funding to two food pantries.

Receiving the grants, according to, were:

“This year, more than ever, we must pay close attention to our community and lead with our hearts. Cape Cod Healthcare is supporting food pantries and meal distribution programs to assist in this critical need,” Michael Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare, was quoted.

Rachel’s Table Hosts Virtual Food Competition to Help Feed Hungry Families

Rachel’s Table, the food rescue program of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, Springfield nonprofit that advocates for social justice, fights hunger and poverty, and rescues and resettles people in danger, last week held its first-ever virtual food competition – a twist on its annual “Foodraiser” that obtains and distributes food for families in need.

The thirteenth annual Foodraiser engaged 29 teams of 166 teens, who, in a one-hour Zoom call, using the OneDeeds product donation platform, purchased 7,353 items for the Providence Ministries, Amherst Survival Center, and the Franklin County Community Meals Program. The teen purchases were sponsored by Taylor Street Dental, with support from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, and individual donors.

Contestants competed to purchase the most food for the least amount of dollars.

During a six-day period leading up to the Foodraiser, the public at large was invited to contribute by purchasing food with OneDeeds.

Jodi Falk, director of Rachel’s Table’s, noted, “The Foodraiser went virtual because of the pandemic, but because of the pandemic, more people need food.”

Berkshire Bank Donates $30K to Massachusetts Food Banks

Berkshire Bank last week announced it donated $10,000 to each of three Massachusetts food banks to help them address increased demand for food assistance resulting from COVID-19 pandemic.

“Food insecurity remains a considerable need. As a result, food banks face significant increased demand for services. These funds will allow food banks to continue to support the local food pantries that directly provide emergency relief and feeding assistance in the communities where Berkshire Bank employees and customers live and work,” the bank said.

Receiving the grants were:

Southeastern Mass. Nonprofitts Granted $25K for Vulnerable Women and Children

The Hawthorn Medical Associates Charitable Fund of the SouthCoast Community Foundation last week announced it granted $25,000 to five nonprofits in the Fall River and New Bedford area that provide programs that directly serve women and children and address child abuse prevention and treatment; economic self-sufficiency; and victims of domestic violence.

These organizations are tackling key issues that women and children of our community are facing each and every day,” stated Joseph Ciccolo Jr., CEO of Hawthorn Medical Associates.

Each of the five organizations received $5,000 towards the following:

  • Catholic Social Services, for its H.O.U.S.E. Family Homeless Shelter-Welcome Project, which helps reduce the trauma of entering a homeless shelter. Families and Children will be provided basic provisions while they await other entitlement benefits to become active.

  • Child & Family Services, for its Caring Network, allowing greater outreach in the community to aid children who witness or are the victims of violence.

  • PACE, Inc. for its food bank, to address food insecurity in the Greater New Bedford area.

  • The Women’s Center’s, for its Keeping Domestic Violence Shelters Safe From COVID-19 program was to offset the unexpected costs to house new survivors in hotels and test them for the virus to limit spread to existing shelter residents.

  • YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts, for its Financial Literacy Program for Women to support educational programming that focuses on self-sufficiency and stability through a strong understanding of budgeting, planning, and debt reduction.

New Rep Leader Stepping Down to Head Mass Cultural Council

Michael Bobbitt

Michael J. Bobbit will step down as artistic director of the New Repertory Theatre, a Watertown nonprofit that stages contemporary and classic plays and musicals, after being named last week as executive director of the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency that advocates for and funds the arts, humanities, and sciences across Massachusetts.

Nina Fialkow, board chair of Mass Cultural Council, said, “We are delighted Michael will join us in February and are eager to begin this new period together. I am confident the agency will continue to lead and serve the Massachusetts cultural sector impactfully under his direction.”

Bobbit, who was identified as the preferred candidate following a nationwide search, joined the New Rep last year.

“I’m a strong believer in the power of culture and know the arts play a vital role in bettering all lives,” said Bobbitt. “I'm extremely excited to join the outstanding team at Mass Cultural Council. In this role I will look to everyone involved: the creative community, consumers, citizens, and government partners to help the agency catalyze growth and drive robust economic development.

“By joining Mass Cultural Council, I hope to broaden and amplify the beneficial impacts of the cultural sector for all who are living, working, and learning statewide.”

Bobbitt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education at Susquehanna University; a certificate in nonprofit management from Harvard University, and a certificate in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University.

New Repertory Theatre will start a search for Bobbitt's successor next month.

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