BOSTON — On Friday, Oct. 27, Senator Eric P. Lesser was honored by the Greater Boston Food Bank as one of its two “Public Advocates of the Year.”

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country.

Earlier this year, Senator Lesser was the lead Senate  sponsor on a budget amendment to increase funding to the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program, which buys produce from local farms, including many in Western Massachusetts, to stock the state’s food banks. Representative Peter Kocot of Northampton was the lead House sponsor.

“I am humbled to receive this award and grateful to my colleagues in the legislature who have supported this program year after year,” said Senator Lesser. “This funding supports local farms while also feeding families in need. Our communities in Western Massachusetts and across the Commonwealth are better off because of this emergency food assistance program, and because of the Greater Boston Food Bank’s commitment to it.”

“Senator Lesser took a leadership role in the Senate this past budget season to support an increase in the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program, critical funding that enables the four Massachusetts food banks to purchase a consistent supply of nutritious food, including fresh, locally grown produce,” said Catherine D’Amato, GBFB president and CEO.

The GBFB traditionally honors one Senator and one Representative as “Public Advocates of the Year.” Rep. Adrian Madaro of East Boston was recognized along with Senator Lesser.

The Public Advocate of the Year Awards were presented at GBFB’s Partner Appreciation Day event, held at its Boston facility, which recognizes both individuals and organizations who have made invaluable contributions to helping GBFB achieve its mission to end hunger here.

“This award is a great honor,” said Rep. Madaro. “Our work in government is only as strong as the partnerships that we create, and we could not ask for a better partner in the fight to end hunger and food insecurity than the Greater Boston Food Bank.”

GBFB provides the equivalent of more than 48 million healthy meals annually, distributed through its network of 530 member agencies across Eastern Massachusetts. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB is the main hub for the four food banks across the state.

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