BOSTON, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Continuing the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to service, Governor Deval Patrick on Tuesday participated in the annual SERV Day at The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). Joined by members of the new Commonwealth Corps class and other volunteers, the Governor helped sort and package donated groceries that will be distributed to families in need across the region.

“It is a privilege to volunteer alongside these men and women who have come together to support our most vulnerable residents during the holiday season,” said Governor Patrick. “This organization has long served our communities and it is imperative we enable them to continue that important work.”

During his visit, the Governor received a tour of The GBFB facility from President and CEO Catherine D’Amato, and met with several staff members to hear about the work being done by the organization. The Governor also addressed volunteers before joining the activities, emphasizing the importance of civic engagement and supporting those less fortunate during difficult economic times.

“At The Greater Boston Food Bank we like to say that everyone has a role in ending hunger, and that includes the state government. State funding for food purchases helps feed as many as 801,200 people throughout our Commonwealth, and we thank Governor Patrick for his support of this vital program,” said President D’Amato. “We also appreciate our many generous and compassionate volunteers, including the Commonwealth Corps folks here today, who collectively save us $600,000 in annual labor costs. We could not feed as many as we do without your help.”

The 2010 Hunger Study issued by The GBFB showed that children make up one third of the people on emergency food assistance. About 15 percent are seniors. The same study showed that one in 11 people in Massachusetts visits a food pantry, soup kitchen or shelter. Through initiatives like the Hunger Summit, co-hosted by the Administration in 2008, and with the effective management of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to ensuring children and families receive proper nutrition to lead healthy lifestyles.

The GBFB was founded in 1981 and feeds more than 394,000 people annually in nine counties in eastern Massachusetts, representing the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and one of the largest food banks in the country.

During today’s activities, the Governor also welcomed new members of the Commonwealth Corps to the 2010 – 2011 service year. Launched in 2007, the Commonwealth Corps provides Massachusetts residents with the opportunity to serve their communities through volunteer work for a year of their life, in a full-time, part-time or flex-time capacity.

Since its inception, approximately 540 residents have served in the Commonwealth Corps. Nearly 130 members are actively serving with 20 non-profit organizations across Massachusetts. Corps members are filling a host of unmet needs – mentoring in communities; tutoring in schools; delivering critical health information and spearheading neighborhood revitalization efforts.

For more information about the Commonwealth Corps, click here.

To find out more about The Greater Boston Food Bank visit