The Amazing Comeback of New Bedford’s Mercy Meals and More
The comeback of Mercy Meals and More in New Bedford is quite a story.
The nonprofit meals program at 634 Purchase Street was about ready to close its doors when a new team of volunteers took over the struggling operation two years ago.
Since then, the nonprofit has rebounded nicely, building its volunteer base, raising money through donations and grants, and improving its standing in the community. It continues to carry out its important mission of providing breakfast meals to the homeless, along with medical care and clothing.
Board President Sally Goodman and Program Director David Motta joined Townsquare Sunday to talk about the comeback.
Motta said when he took over the program, it was pretty much at rock bottom. There was no business plan or grand scheme to improve the program.
"I was reluctant to take the job at first, but now I love it," he said. "There's so many promising and positive things about it. We have a great atmosphere and wonderful volunteers."
Mercy Meals and More served more than 17,000 meals last year, but the real story behind the success of Mercy Meals is the work done behind the scenes to rebuild the organization financially, and within the community.
"We came very close to shutting our doors two years ago with very little money left to buy food," Goodman said. "We put together this tremendous board, and rolled up our sleeves, volunteering ourselves, and came up with ways to raise money,"
Both Motta and Goodman credit Board Treasurer Chad Freitas as the driving force behind the fundraising effort, putting the organization on solid financial footing.
The turnaround has been so dramatic, the rest of the community is starting to notice. Mercy Meals and More was recognized in 2022 with the Human Rights Award from the New Bedford Human Relations Commission.
Mercy Meals and More is holding a Halloween party fundraising event on October 27 at the United Fishermen's Club on Orchard Street. Learn more on the Mercy Meals and More Facebook page.
The complete interview with Sally Goodman and David Motta can be heard here:
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