Campus & Community

Community Gifts reaches out a special hand to area hungry

2 min read

Harvard’s Community Gifts Campaign is a way for Harvard employees to help the city of Boston meet a critical need for food donations.

“Harvard employees have always been incredibly generous to the organizations that depend on our contributions,” said Alan J. Stone, vice president for Government, Community and Public Affairs and chair of the Community Gifts Campaign. “By working with the city of Boston, we can supplement the help Harvard offers annually to soup kitchens and homeless shelters in the area.”

In a single year, nearly 300,000 people receive assistance from hunger-relief agencies supported by the Greater Boston Food Bank and the numbers served are

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rising in a poorly performing economy. According to Jim Greene, deputy director of the city of Boston Emergency Shelter Commission, Boston has some of the highest concentrations of people living in poverty in the Commonwealth.

For 17 years, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s office has coordinated the Boston Can Share Food Drive, a community partnership that helps feed Boston’s hungry during winter. In anticipation of depleted food stocks during the holiday season and reduced giving due to the economic downturn, Greene has reached out to area colleges and universities for a helping hand.

Harvard employees who have already donated this year or those who have not yet submitted their donations can earmark funds for the Mayor’s Can Share Food Drive/Greater Boston Food Bank by sending their donations through the Community Gifts at Harvard Campaign, 124 Mount Auburn St., Room 420 South, Cambridge, MA 02138, or by calling (617) 495-1598.

“Boston’s colleges and universities are among the largest employers in the community,” said Greene, who heads up the annual drive. “We are not sure how many opportunities employees have to get involved in the communities where they work. We wanted to make this link to help Boston’s hungry as a way to connect with those needs.”

Donated funds will be sent to the Greater Boston Food Bank,, a sponsor of the Boston Can Share Food Drive, and will go toward the purchase, transport, packaging, and distribution of nutritious foods to food pantries, homeless shelters, and soup kitchens in the city of Boston and in the Greater Boston area.