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Food for Free Committees, Inc.

 11 Inman Street
 Cambridge, MA 02139
[P] (617) 868-2900 x 307
[F] (617) 8682395
www.foodforfree.org
development@foodforfree.org
Michelle Holcomb
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INCORPORATED: 1981
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2561771

LAST UPDATED: 08/28/2017
Organization DBA Food For Free
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Food For Free improves access to healthy food within our community by rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste, strengthening the community food system, and creating new distribution channels to reach underserved populations. We envision a future where everyone in our community—regardless of age, income or ability—has consistent access to fresh, healthy, delicious food.

Mission Statement

Food For Free improves access to healthy food within our community by rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste, strengthening the community food system, and creating new distribution channels to reach underserved populations. We envision a future where everyone in our community—regardless of age, income or ability—has consistent access to fresh, healthy, delicious food.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $1,042,500.00
Projected Expense $1,047,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program
  • Family Meals
  • Field of Greens
  • Food Rescue
  • Home Delivery
  • Transportation Partnership

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Food For Free improves access to healthy food within our community by rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste, strengthening the community food system, and creating new distribution channels to reach underserved populations. We envision a future where everyone in our community—regardless of age, income or ability—has consistent access to fresh, healthy, delicious food.

Background Statement

 Food For Free was founded in 1981 when a group of volunteers sought to address a shortage of food at local food pantries. Realizing that perfectly good food was being thrown away at local grocery stores, they borrowed vans to collect—or “rescue”—this surplus food and distribute it to programs serving the hungry. Food For Free was incorporated in 1981 and received 501(c)(3) status in 1985.

Today, our Food Rescue and Distribution program collects food from more than 80 donors and distributes it to more than 100 local food programs. We work with programs in 11 Greater Boston cities, collectively reaching over 30,000 individuals. Last year, we rescued nearly 2 million pounds of food—equivalent to about 1.5 million meals.
 
The abundance of prepared foods becoming available for rescue in the last few years led to the creation of our Family Meals program. This is the program for which we seek your support. Family Meals repackages rescued prepared foods into microwave-ready, single-serving meals that can be distributed to a variety of food-insecure populations.
 
Family Meals is just one of Food For Free’s innovative programs addressing the particular needs of various food-insecure populations. Other programs include Home Delivery, which reaches home-bound seniors and people with disabilities; the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program, which addresses the out-of-school needs of elementary and middle school students at risk of hunger; and School Markets, which bring school communities together around food and reaches families that hesitate to use food pantries.

 


Impact Statement

In the year ending June 30, 2016, Food For Free:

1. Distributed 1.9 million pounds of food to over 100 food programs in 11 Greater Boston cities

2. Rescued 1.7 million pounds of food, diverting it from the waste stream and getting it back into the food system

3. Transported 1.2 million pounds of food between the Greater Boston Food Bank and food programs that lack their own transportation

4. Brought twice-monthly deliveries of food to 100 low-income seniors and people with disabilities

5.Merged with the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program, to send food home with 400 students for each of 38 weekends during the school year

6. Launched our Family Meals program, which uses prepared foods rescued from university and corporate dining halls, to creates heat-and-eat meals for people who face barriers to cooking for themselves.
 

In the next year, Food For Free will:

1. Distribute 2.1 million pounds of food 

2. Bring food to 120 seniors and people with disabilities through Home Delivery
 
3. Serve 500 students through the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program 
 
4. Expand our Family Meals program, with the goal of distributing 14,000 meals during the year 
 

 


Needs Statement

 

The recently enacted Massachusetts Food Waste Ban now applies to some 1,700 institutions, including supermarkets, universities, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and restaurants. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of food “waste”—much of it perfectly edible—will need to be repurposed each year.

As the oldest and largest food rescue organization in the state, Food For Free is uniquely positioned to respond to this opportunity. But, doing so will require organizational growth at a pace unprecedented in our 34-year history.

To meet the needs of large scale institutions, and to repurpose the food they can provide in ways that are useful to the community, we will need to make significant investment in our organizational infrastructure. At a minimum, Food For Free will need to expand our staff and our fleet of trucks. It may be that this program will also call for specialized equipment to repackage and/or freeze institutional foods into packaging more appropriate to individual consumers.


 


CEO Statement

According to the USDA, 31 percent of the of food available for human consumption in the U.S. is wasted at the retail and consumer levels. That’s 133 billion pounds—worth $162 billion—each year.

Handling food waste is expensive for both businesses and municipalities. In landfills, organic waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Recognizing the financial and environmental costs of food waste as insupportable over the long term, Massachusetts has enacted a food waste ban that applies to all businesses that generate more than one ton of organic waste a week. The ban took effect on October 1, 2014.

Meanwhile, more than 500,000 people in Eastern Massachusetts are struggling to put food on their tables. This is where Food For Free makes a difference, by bridging the gap between food waste and food insecurity.

The Massachusetts Food Waste Ban affects some 1,700 institutions in Massachusetts, including supermarkets, universities, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and restaurants. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of food “waste”—much of it perfectly edible—will need to be repurposed.

There is no organization in Cambridge better prepared to help businesses address this challenge than Food For Free.

But success will require additional resources, and it will require cooperation and creativity from every corner: institutions, community food programs, financial donors, and public officials.


Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
Greater Boston

Organization Categories

  1. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition - Food Banks, Food Pantries
  2. Human Services -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program

The Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program sends a weekend's worth of food home with elementary and middle school students at risk for hunger.
Budget  --
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food Distribution
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success  At least 30% of parent/teacher respondents will report improvement in at least one health or academic success indicator.
Program Long-Term Success  Parents and teachers of participants will report improved health, school participation, and academic outcomes for participating students.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 
Of the 83 students whose teachers provided evaluations in the 2014-15 teacher final evaluation survey, 33.7 percent showed improved school performance and attention in class, 31.3 percent showed improved behavior, 30.1 percent showed improved attendance, and 14.5 percent showed improved health indicators.

Family Meals

Using surplus foods rescued from university dining halls and other sources, Family Meals creates heat-and-eat meals for families sheltered in hotels and others who face barriers to cooking for themselves.
Budget  --
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food Distribution
Population Served Families Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  Program will increase weekly production of meals by 50% over the next year
Program Long-Term Success  Program participants will report a decrease in meal-skipping due to lack of access to food
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  A quote from a meal recipient:

"I was wondering who made the real food meal. That was so helpful to me during the blizzard. Whoever brought those or made those, I just want to hug them!

I was so happy to have real vegetables, a grain, and meat in a healthy way in a real meal.

When I'm not at school, I don't have meals with multiple food groups in them. I don't have access to a variety of healthy foods, so that meal helped me be healthier. I felt more like a normal person, too."


Field of Greens

Each summer, Food For Free supplements the produce we gather from donors with nutrient-dense vegetables grown by our own staff and volunteers at Field of Greens. Each year, Ari Kurtz lends us use of a quarter-acre of land at Lindentree Farm, where our staff and volunteers harvest between 10 and 12 varieties of organic produce for distribution to pantries, meals, and shelters.
Budget  $13,575.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Sustainable Agriculture
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  In 2015, more than 50 volunteers will work at Field of Greens and learn about hunger, the emergency food system, and Food For Free's work. Field of Greens will harvest more than 3,000 pounds of vegetables for distribution to local food programs.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success for Field of Greens would mean widespread knowledge of the issues of hunger, food waste, and sustainable agriculture within Food For Free's area of service, as well as food programs having consistent access to local, sustainably farmed produce.
Program Success Monitored By  Volunteer hours and harvest weights are tracked through internal record keeping.
Examples of Program Success  Last year, Field of Greens hosted more than 50 volunteers and harvested 5,000 pounds of organically grown vegetables for distribution to local food programs.

Food Rescue

 Food Rescue and Distribution is Food For Free’s oldest program and our central tactic for combating hunger. Food For Free’s Food Rescue programs improve access to healthy foods by rescuing fresh food—food that might otherwise be discarded—and distributing it within the emergency food system. We get this food to the people who need it by partnering with emergency food programs, youth programs, and other programs that reach low-income individuals. 

Food For Free's network of donors has grown tremendously in the last two years, and we now partner with more than 80 food donors, including wholesalers, grocery stores, universities, and farms.

The Food Rescue program provides food for more than 100 local food programs in 11 Greater Boston cities. In 2017, it will distribute about 2 million pounds of food--equivalent to more than 1.5 million meals.

Budget  $245,200.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Hunger Action
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  In 2015, Produce Rescue and Distribution will distribute more than 1 million pounds of food to emergency food programs in Greater Boston.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success would be a 90% reduction in hunger and the health effects of food-insecurity within Food For Free's service area.
Program Success Monitored By 

Food For Free measures our effectiveness through both ongoing quantitative measures, i.e. daily tracking how much food we distribute, and also through qualitative measures, such as surveys of our recipient agencies. Data from these surveys helps us quantify the number of people we serve and make qualitative judgments about how well these programs work at reducing hunger.

Examples of Program Success 
In 2014, Food For Free's food rescue programs diverted 1.3 million pounds of food from the waste stream and distributed 1.6 million pounds of food in all.
 
Testimony from recipient food programs:
"We could not consistently feed all our members nutritious meals without the help of Food For Free."
 
 "Our program might not exist without Food For Free."
 
 
 

Home Delivery

Twice a month, Home Delivery brings a full box of healthy foods to low-income Cambridge residents who are unable to access food pantries due to long-term illness or disability.
Budget  $58,125.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Hunger Action
Population Served Elderly and/or Disabled Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  In 2015, Home Delivery will serve 90-100 clients each month will distribute more than 70,000 pounds of food.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success for Home Delivery would mean eliminating the incidence of reported hunger and meal skipping due to lack of resources among low-income elderly and.or disabled Cambridge residents.
Program Success Monitored By  Food For Free uses internal record-keeping to track the amount of food delivered and the number of clients served each month and periodic client satisfaction surveys to assess the efficacy of this program at reducing hunger.
Examples of Program Success  In recent client satisfaction surveys, clients have reported a reduction in meal-skipping and an increase the the frequency with which they consume fresh fruits and vegetables.

Transportation Partnership

The Transportation Partnership picks up food from the Greater Boston Food Bank and delivers it to twelve food programs that lack their own transportation. This program began in 2010 at the Greater Boston Food Bank's request.

Budget  $40,460.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Hunger Action
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  In 2015, The Transportation Partnership will transport 850,000 pounds of food between the Greater Boston Food Bank and 12 local food programs.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success for The Transportation Partnership would mean a 90% reduction in hunger and the health effects of food insecurity within our service area.
Program Success Monitored By  The Greater Boston Food Bank provides Food For Free with delivery weights for the food transported through this program.
Examples of Program Success  In 2014, this program delivered 868,000 pounds of food.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sasha Purpura
CEO Term Start July 2012
CEO Email director@foodforfree.org
CEO Experience Sasha Purpura joined Food For Free as Executive Director in July 2012. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in computer science, Sasha spent the next 15 years working in the private sector as a software engineer, product manager, and manager. She worked for Lotus Development Corp., Nokia, and Iron Mountain. In 2006 Sasha helped her husband establish Plato’s Harvest, a small organic farm in Southeastern, Massachusetts. In 2009, Sasha left the private sector to work full time on the farm while pursuing and receiving her MBA in Sustainability from Antioch University. Sasha is an active member of the local food community, sits on the steering committee of Slow Money Boston, and is a founding member of Sprout Lenders—a local investment club working to build the local food system.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. David R. Leslie Dec 2004 June 2012
Mr. R.B. Michael Oliver Aug 2003 Sept 2004

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Michelle Holcomb Development Director --
Mr. Ryan Lee Operations Director --
Ms Alanna Mallon Program Director Founder of the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program, Alanna joined Food For Free in January 2016. A long-time Cambridge resident, she was Education Liaison under Mayor David Maher. As program director, in Alanna oversees the Backpack Program, School Markets, Home Delivery, and Field of Greens.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Food For Free's work is rooted in collaboration--with food donors, recipient food programs, community partners like the Greater Boston Food Bank and Boston Area Gleaners, and business partners like Boston Organics. Here are just two examples of our collaborative work:
 
Food Food Free collects food from more than 80 sources, including farms, produce wholesalers, grocery stores, and other retail businesses. We distribute this food to more than 100 local food programs. For some of these collections and deliveries, we work with Metro Pedal Power, a local tricycle-truck delivery service. This allows us to reach multiple farmers' markets that are open at the same time without adding additional trucks to our operation, and allows us to make some smaller deliveries without putting a truck on the road at all.
 
We also work closely with Boston Area Gleaners, a nonprofit that harvests the produce left after a farm's market harvest, thereby preventing this food from being plowed under. Food For Free distributes much of the produce that BAG gleans from local farms each year.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 7
Number of Part Time Staff 11
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 9
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Joanna Vanden
Board Chair Company Affiliation Social Finance
Board Chair Term Feb 2010 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Anne Cushman Advise and Consult Voting
Mr Elan Ezickson Scholar Rock, Inc. Voting
Mr Justin Kang City Awake Voting
Mr. John Musser Tropic Trade LLC Voting
Ms Jessica Newman community volunteer Voting
Mr. Dana Philbrook Cambridge Savings Bank Voting
Mr. Bruce Posner MIT Sloan School of Management Voting
Ms Marina Seevak The Beautiful Stuff Project Voting
Ms. Kirsten Sims Hello Small Studio Voting
Mr. Robert Steinberg Kronos Incorporated Voting
Ms. Joanna Vanden Social Finance Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 89%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Finance
  • Governance and Policy

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $4,374,791 $3,893,954 $3,728,308
Total Expenses $4,298,526 $3,793,224 $3,728,587

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$330,052 $472,478 $187,829
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $411,710 $268,758 $260,605
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $33,627 $21,950 $8,550
Investment Income, Net of Losses $592 $975 $429
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $287,141 $226,234 $195,648
Revenue In-Kind $3,311,669 $2,903,559 $3,054,967
Other -- -- $20,280

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $4,014,381 $3,527,469 $3,500,097
Administration Expense $125,025 $132,793 $108,475
Fundraising Expense $159,120 $132,962 $120,016
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.02 1.03 1.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses 93% 93% 94%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 15% 14% 19%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $729,306 $650,030 $463,304
Current Assets $494,561 $426,427 $193,386
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities $49,042 $46,031 $14,393
Total Net Assets $680,264 $603,999 $448,911

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 10.08 9.26 13.44

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Historically, Food For Free has not accounted for the value of donated food in our financial statements. We have recently implement the appropriate systems to support accounting for this beginning with fiscal year 2015. As a result, our FY15-17 audits show a significant increase in both income and expenses from previous years, over $3 million of which is the value of the food we rescue and distribute.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials.
 
Please note, this organization changed its fiscal year in 2014 from a calendar year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31) to fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). As such the fiscal year 2014 Form 990 and Review posted above cover a 6 month period (Jan. 1, 2014 - June 30, 2014) and the data is not included in the charts and graphs. 

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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