Fill the Plate, Feed a Family Challenge
The Fill the Plate, Feed a Family Challenge is a fundraising initiative that supports The Market at Gray House and helps put nutritious food on the tables of families in need. We encourage individuals, businesses and community groups to donate and post a photo with an empty plate on social media, encouraging others to join you. The empty plates represent all of the families that would go hungry without your support.
Since it's inception in 2015, YOU have helped us raise over $88,000 through our Fill the Plate, Feed a Family Challenge! The initiative originated in 2015 out of a need to raise $10,000 in order to receive a $10,000 matching grant. Because of your generosity, we did it!
The initiative has become an annual challenge, incorporating different events such as our Hot Table Fundraiser, as well as fundraising teams who will compete to see who can raise the most money! The money raised through Fill the Plate is leveraged to provide people in our community with much needed groceries.
Approximately 50,820 of our neighbors throughout Hampden County struggle to access enough food. Essential social services, like the food assistance provided by The Market at Gray House, are critical to ensuring the health and well-being of low-income individuals and families throughout our community.
Our agency is committed to addressing food insecurity by providing households with nutritious groceries through the Market at Gray House. In 2020, The Gray House provided over 7,329 unique individuals with groceries and served an average of 3,413 duplicate individuals each month. We saw a 134% increase in the number of households served throughout March 2020–December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Our average monthly numbers have continued to increase in 2021.
Food assistance is a critical first step in helping people improve their ability to resolve crises and achieve and maintain a more stable situation. Food assistance allows families to reallocate their limited funds to other expenses that impact their ability to maintain a job or housing such as rent, transportation, utility bills, childcare and healthcare expenses.
With the help of previously raised funds from this initiative, in September of 2018, The Gray House re-branded its food assistance program to The Market at Gray House and began offering evening hours on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. These changes helped to reduce the stigma associated with food assistance and provide assistance to "working poor" families in the community. As a result, The Gray House saw an increase in the number of individuals served each month by 20% (prior to the pandemic). The majority of the new visitors are people who were previously unable to access this resource due to the hours. Please support us in these efforts today!
Hot Table Event
Visit our Hot Table event page to learn more about the fundraiser, typically held on the first Wednesday of September.