Food, Glorious Food
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Food, Glorious Food

Grand Circle associates donate non-perishables in an annual food drive

If you ever walked into the lobby of Grand Circle headquarters in Boston, you probably noticed the huge screen streaming videos about the company and the lands we travel … the luggage motif fronting the reception desk … and the wooden statue of an elephant and its mahout (trainer) by the elevator.

Unless you visited the company in March, that is. Then, you probably would have been struck by something else: the wall of food surrounding the receptionist. It is an impressive sight: cans of soup, beans, and vegetables … boxes of Cheerios, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, pilaf, and crackers … jars of mayonnaise and salad dressing … and more—all donated by associates in an effort to help end hunger in eastern Massachusetts.

The annual food drive was launched in 2010 by Tom Whearty, an associate in the company's analytics department. Since 2008, Tom has been organizing a team of volunteers to spend a few hours every quarter at the Greater Boston Food Bank's (GBFB) distribution facility, to sort and box food for distribution to local food pantries, community meal programs, homeless and residential shelters, youth programs, senior centers, and day-care centers throughout this part of the state. The event has become a mainstay of the Boston headquarters' community service team.

Tom conceived of the food drive as an extension of his effort not only to prepare food for delivery, but also to provide it. Every January for four years, he has sent out an email requesting donations, and the cans and boxes have started pouring in. This year, 250 pounds of non-perishables were collected and delivered to the GBFB. Since 1.3 pounds of food is roughly the equivalent of one meal, Grand Circle's contributions translate to around 200 meals for hungry Massachusetts residents, or enough to feed one individual for two months.

Grand Circle's ties to the GBFB are strong. In addition to sponsoring regular service events benefiting the organization, Grand Circle Foundation recognized the GBFB's President and CEO, Catherine D'Amato, with the Lewis Changing People's Lives Award for 2012. Catherine also serves on the Foundation's Community Advisory Board.

We are proud to support the GBFB's objective of distributing enough food to provide at least one meal a day to those in need.

Featured in our March/April 2013 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.