Supporter Spotlight: Reliant Foundation

March 7, 2022 Updated: January 30, 2024

At Spoonfuls, we’re lucky to have so many strong supporters of our food rescue work. Among them is Reliant Foundation, a nonprofit supporting improved public health in the Central and MetroWest regions of Massachusetts. One of their initiatives focuses on people facing addiction, which overlaps with Spoonfuls’ work in the region. We distribute fresh food to nonprofit partners focused on recovery, like the Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC). Learn more about Reliant and how good nutrition can help those in recovery, through the Q&A below.

Tell us about Reliant Foundation! What does your foundation focus on?

Reliant Foundation, Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 public charity, not affiliated with any health care facility or medical group, whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in the Central and MetroWest regions of Massachusetts.

The Foundation achieves its mission by raising funds for the purpose of making impactful grants to our fellow nonprofit organizations with the goal of positively impacting community health together. Currently, programs and initiatives which focus on substance use disorder (primarily the opioid epidemic), increasing access to mental health and/or behavioral health services for children and youth, and programs and initiatives which reduce stigma around these issues take top priority.

Why did the Reliant Foundation choose to support Spoonfuls?

A talented group of trustees on our Grants Committee review all proposals and make funding recommendations based on our Foundation’s mission and health focus. Spoonfuls’ proposal to include nonprofit recovery homes on its food rescue and delivery route in MetroWest gained the approval of our group thanks to the known benefits of good nutrition in addiction recovery. We also saw the strong support being offered by our fellow funders in MetroWest and knew this program had a good track record of meeting its goals and objectives.

How does access to fresh, healthy food help people in substance abuse recovery?

Drug and alcohol abuse can deprive the body of the nutrients it needs to be healthy and function properly. A poor diet combined with prior or current substance use can not only negatively affect a person’s mental health, but it can also create digestive problems and increase cravings for sugary substances and high-carb foods. Access to fresh, healthy foods at the start of recovery paired with healthy movement and other support systems can help correct a physical and mental system imbalance.

How else does healthy food fit into Reliant’s mission? 

Reliant Foundation isn’t currently focused on healthy food by itself. We are not a hunger relief organization. The connection to our mission can be found within clinical research on the positive effects of healthy eating through consuming fresh fruits and vegetables and incorporating protein-rich foods on mental health and recovery.

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