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Each COVID-19 Warrior is at the forefront of addressing inequities exacerbated by the pandemic
BOSTON, November 04, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eastern Bank Foundation is pleased to announce its 2021 Community Advocacy Award honorees, recognizing nonprofit organizations addressing inequities exacerbated by the pandemic in the communities Eastern serves, including Cape Cod, Greater Boston, Merrimack Valley, MetroWest, the North Shore, the South Shore and New Hampshire.
"Time and again, at times of great challenge and especially during this pandemic, it’s our nonprofit sector that picks us up and moves us forward," said Nancy Huntington Stager, President and CEO of the Eastern Bank Foundation. "In 2021, many organizations answered the call in extraordinary ways to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors, and we’re proud to recognize some of these leaders and their teams for giving mightily to address critical community needs. When they were faced with overwhelming and urgent demand for their services, they pivoted and scaled up rapidly to be a source of help and strength to thousands of people."
The areas addressed by this year’s honorees are as follows:
Increasing Food Access
Racial inequities in food insecurity and gaps in food access are growing, alarmingly. Reports estimate 30 percent of adults in Massachusetts were experiencing food insecurity at the start of this year, and among Massachusetts residents, 58 percent of Latinx adults, 45 percent of Black adults, 26 percent of Asian adults, 24 percent of White adults and 42 percent of adults with children experience food insecurity. In New Hampshire, one in seven Granite Staters is estimated to not know where their next meal will come from, with an additional 55,000 people now food insecure as a result of the pandemic. Community Advocacy Award honorees being recognized for addressing food insecurity are:
Merrimack Valley Food Bank, led by Executive Director Amy Pessia
Healthy Waltham, led by Executive Director Myriam Michel
Gather New Hampshire, led by Executive Director Deb Anthony
Easing Child Care Scarcity
The pandemic has also laid bare the flaws in our child education and care ecosystem. Since COVID-19, 13% of licensed child care programs in Boston alone shut down. A Community Advocacy Award honoree being recognized for mobilizing child care and other support is:
Old Colony Y, led by President & CEO Vincent J. Marturano
Addressing Vaccination Inequities
To address disparities surrounding the vaccine, organizations took different approaches to getting communities vaccinated. They focused on getting accurate and culturally-competent information into our communities through vaccine education, and providing access in pop-up clinics at churches, civic centers and elsewhere to help people actually get the vaccine. Community Advocacy Award honorees being recognized for vaccination equity efforts are:
Cape Abilities, led by Interim President & CEO Kim McElholm
GOTVax, co-founded by Dr. Alister Martin, Emergency Medicine Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Jon Santiago, Emergency Medicine Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and State Representative from the 9th Suffolk District
Essex County Community Foundation, led by President and CEO Beth Francis
Supporting Businesses of Color
In Massachusetts, the annual unmet demand for capital among businesses of color is at least $574 million, and COVID-19 required many of these businesses to pivot quickly. Community Advocacy Award honorees provided technical assistance, capital and other resources to assist these businesses. Honorees in this category are:
Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), led by President and CEO Segun Idowu
Small Business Strong, an initiative led by Yvonne Garcia in addition to her role as Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO of State Street Corporation where she is also Global Head of Communications
Read more about all of the 2021 Community Advocacy Award honorees at:
About Eastern Bank Foundation
Created in 1994, the Eastern Bank Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Boston-based Eastern Bank. Through philanthropy, employee volunteerism, advocacy and collaborations with other businesses and community partners, Eastern Bank Foundation responds to community needs and supports sustainable solutions to our communities’ most vexing challenges across eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. To learn more, visit easternbank.com/foundation.
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Eastern Bank Foundation