Stevens Family Provides Meals at GBFB Event

BOSTON – At the root of any successful operation is a solid foundation. Take, for instance, the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). Trace back the history of the organization and you’ll come upon the story of a nationally recognized pioneer in social reform, Kip Tiernan.

For decades, Tiernan was at the forefront of advocating for economic and social justice throughout the city of Boston. She is well-known for founding the first homeless shelter for women in the country – Rosie’s Place – right here in Boston. The story goes that Tiernan quickly needed to institute a way to be able to feed the population she was serving at the shelter, so she began catering food from the back of her station wagon. This moment in time bookmarked the start of the GBFB.

Tiernan founded the organization as a result of needing a place to store food. As donations increased, additional shelters benefitted from the GBFB food supply.

Today, the organization supplies food for over 550 hunger relief agencies. On an annual basis, the distributed food reaches as many as 545,000 people throughout eastern Massachusetts.

Tiernan passed away in 2011, but her philanthropic passion is still carried out by staff and stakeholders of the GBFB.

Among those stakeholders is Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens and his family.

After joining the Boston community, Stevens and his wife Tracy connected with the GBFB and made a commitment to assist the organization with their ongoing mission to end hunger.

The Stevens family hosted their 2nd annual Thanksgiving Meal Distribution event at the GBFB Monday evening, and sponsored 200 meals that were voluntarily distributed by them and members of the Celtics front office. Throughout the evening, families from the local community were all provided with essential food items for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

“The biggest thing is being able to come out and lend a helping hand,” said Stevens. “Just to see the smiles on peoples’ faces when they walk by is special.”

Also volunteering at the event were local representatives of the nation’s armed forces as part of the NBA Cares Commitment to Service initiative.

“To have the troops here this year helping us is a fantastic collaborative effort,” noted Stevens. “We couldn’t be more thankful for what they do for our country.”

Similar to the groundwork Tiernan set for the operations at GBFB, Stevens continues to lay the foundation for the rebuilding Celtics. One way he tries to foster that collective bond is offering up the opportunity to have front office staff and their families attend the annual event to volunteer.

“We try to do as much as we can together,” stated Stevens on the volunteering element of the event that has become a holiday tradition among the coaching staff. “There is a comradery in doing things off the court that is certainly important.”

The scene within the 117,000 square foot GBFB warehouse Monday evening was the essence of community support. A vision of hope that dates back to the humanitarian spirit of one woman.

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