MLKFS 2018 Appeal - Food Bank
Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services has been serving the Mason Square community for 40 years. Over the years, the staff and I have watched from the second and third floor windows of our Wilbraham Road offices as mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents pass by. We see their fight to survive, better themselves and improve their lives. From these safe distances, their journey may seem to be the ordinary walk of life but we at Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services also see these community neighbors up close. We meet them daily as they use our services, and we learn their stories and their struggles. We also learn the depth of their need, particularly as social resources become more scarce and economic hardships weigh heavily on each member of the family.
This need is the most evident in the most basic urgent need a family may have—the need for healthy nourishing meals. Living in a food desert, the residents of Mason Square face both financial and transportation issues that make access to food to feed their families difficult. MLK has worked to meet that need through our Emergency Food Pantry for many years. Over the past six years, we have watched the number of people using this service nearly triple from 120 people per week in August of 2012 to more than 385 per week for the same period last summer. This number swells to 550 people at the end of the month as people’s financial resources have been stretched to the breaking point. To measure the true impact of the MLK Emergency Food Pantry each individual who comes to pick up food is bringing the meals home to feed families of three to four people.
MLK is committed to not only continuing this critical service but to expanding it to meet the growing needs of the community, particularly those of our veterans and elderly, but we desperately need your help. Receiving 2.5 tons of food per week, the program costs $55,000 per year. Sadly, with shrinking resources to fund these costs, the program operated at a deficit last year and resources had to be shifted from other programming to ensure the continuation of this vital service. We continue to research new funding sources but need to raise 20 percent of the cost of running the program through this annual appeal.
We know that you are as committed to the well being of your neighbors as we are. No gift is too small or too large. Your kindness means a great deal to us, but to those we serve, your generosity means a well-fed family.
MLK Jr Family Services, Inc. is a 501 C3 organization, your contribution is tax deductible and can be made via our online account which can be accessed at www. mlkjrfamilyservices.org here you can also learn more about the other services we provide.
Full of hope,