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SPOON-FED:

Spotlight on the Yawkey Foundation

Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ many wonderful funders allow us to do what we do best: rescuing food and providing it to people who need it! Among them is Yawkey Foundation which, over the past two years, has awarded Lovin’ Spoonfuls $150,000 in support of our food rescue and hunger relief mission. A portion of these funds helped us purchase a new refrigerated truck!

Get to know Yawkey Foundation in this conversation with their team.

Tell us about the Yawkey Foundation! What are your areas of giving?

The Yawkey Foundation is dedicated to perpetuating the philanthropic legacy of Tom Yawkey and Jean Yawkey, whose eight decades of quiet generosity supported individuals and families in the communities that were closest to their hearts [in] Massachusetts and Georgetown County, South Carolina. Having awarded more than $530 million to date in charitable grants to organizations focused in our core areas of giving – health care, education, human services, youth and amateur athletics, arts and culture, and conservation and wildlife – the Yawkey Foundation is committed to preserving and sustaining the charitable values of the Yawkeys by investing in nonprofits that provide resources, opportunity, and dignity to vulnerable and underserved [people].

 Why did the Yawkey Foundation choose to support Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ food rescue mission?

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is passionate about providing individuals, families, and communities experiencing food insecurity with consistent sources of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and dairy, and that mission of hunger relief is core to Yawkey Foundation’s priorities. However, what particularly resonates with our Trustees is when a nonprofit approaches and builds partnerships which result in combined efforts being bigger than the sum of the parts. Lovin’ Spoonfuls makes this exponential impact happen through their operational expertise and hard work, of course, but also through a very intentional, thoughtful approach that prioritizes meeting the specific nutritional and cultural needs in the various communities with whom they work with.

What does access to fresh, healthy food mean to the Yawkey Foundation?

Quite simply, access to nutritious food is one of our Foundation’s principles, guiding purposes. And the pervasive challenge of hunger can be a preventable, solvable issue when innovative leaders and their dedicated teams – like Ashley Stanley, Spoonfuls’ Founder & Executive Director, and the Lovin’ Spoonfuls staff – bring together strategic expertise and resources to connect fresh food with those who need it. When you consider Yawkey Foundation’s major, and often decades’ long, partnerships with Greater Boston’s anchor human services and hunger institutions – from the Greater Boston Food Bank, to Catholic Charities’ food pantries in Dorchester, Lynn, and Brockton, to Community Servings, Pine Street Inn, and Rosie’s Place, to name just a few of our trusted partners – we hope it’s clear how strongly our Trustees feel about ensuring everyone has access to fresh, healthy food. 

What prompted Yawkey’s legacy of generously supporting the programs you do, programs that support underserved individuals and families in particular?

In the 1980’s, Jean Yawkey met Kip Tiernan, an iconic Bostonian who dedicated her life to helping vulnerable individuals and families through the founding of both the Greater Boston Food Bank and Rosie’s Place. Jean privately began supporting both organizations, which as most know, grew into two critically important hunger relief nonprofits in our region. In fact, Jean Yawkey purchased the Greater Boston Food Bank’s first refrigerated food truck in 1986. So when Lovin’ Spoonfuls needed a new refrigerated box truck to meet the increased need, especially in the Gateway Cities of Greater Boston, well, you can see how that would have resonated with the values of our founders, Tom Yawkey and Jean Yawkey.