WE CAN honored Boston Food Bank President and CEO Catherine D’Amato at the 16th annual Day of Words, Wit, and Wisdom held at Wychmere Beach Club in Harwich Port on June 2.
D’Amato received WE CAN’s Woman of the Year Award.
D’Amato has been a tireless advocate for the hungry for more than 40 years. Last year, the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), New England’s largest hunger-relief organization, distributed food that equates to over 97 million meals, working with more than 600 partner agencies, more than 50 of which are on Cape Cod.
“Our Woman of the Year is chosen because she has proven to be a role model in her life and career, someone who has also herself met life’s challenges with courage and grace,” said WE CAN’s Executive Director Lisa Guyon. “Her life and work clearly resonate with the mission and values of WE CAN.”
Under D’Amato’s guidance, GBFB has risen to the unprecedented challenge of responding to the surge in hunger due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distributing 70 percent more food to GBFB partner agencies that report serving double the number of people in need.
“We have all had to reinvent ourselves – not once but many times,” she said. She continued by saying that “WE CAN has also remained resilient. Your reinvention worked, you did it and will continue to do it.”
D’Amato has received numerous honors and awards for her leadership in hunger relief. These include: The Pinnacle Award of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; the Anti-Defamation League Woman of Valor Award; the Fenway Health Susan B. Love Award; the first-ever Community Service Award of the Massachusetts Food Association; the New England Women’s Leadership Award; Feeding America’s Hunger’s Hope Award; and multiple honorary degrees from local universities.