Donated Keys Converted into $1,700 Check for UMass Boston Food Pantry

Colleen Locke | November 15, 2013
Ralph Greenberg presents a $1,780 check to U-ACCESS Director Shirley Fan-Chan and Food Pantry Coordinator Alli Greenberg.

Ralph Greenberg presents a $1,780 check to U-ACCESS Director Shirley Fan-Chan and Food Pantry Coordinator Alli Greenberg.
Image by: Harry Brett

Donation the Result of Keys Collected at UMass Boston, Elsewhere

Unused keys collected at UMass Boston last year are supporting students in need, just in time for the holiday season. Ralph Greenberg, founder of the Key for Hope Foundation, presented the U-ACCESS Food Pantry with a check for $1,780 last week.

“Who would ever think that keys could help feed people?” Greenberg said.

The Key for Hope Foundation collects unwanted car keys and house keys and uses the scrap metal value to buy food for local pantries. The Les Clefs d’Or, a group of concierges, donated keys left in hotel lost-and-founds, and also gave the foundation a monetary donation. That gift, combined with proceeds from the keys collected at UMass Boston and other institutions last year, was turned into a $1,780 check presented to the U-ACCESS Food Pantry.

“This will be such a tremendous addition to the work that U-ACCESS Director Shirley Fan-Chan and Alli Greenberg have been doing with the U-ACCESS Office, and it will be well appreciated by the students here at UMass Boston,” said Co-Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lisa Buenaventura.

Alli a senior human services major and coordinator of the U-ACCESS Program’s food pantry, is Ralph Greenberg’s daughter.

“Alli and I discussed many programs here at the school, and food insecurity is one of the things we were really interested in trying to help with. As a parent of children who have never been hungry, I want to help some people that are hungry,” Ralph Greenberg said. 

Alli Greenberg says the funds will be a big help for the food pantry, which has expanded its hours this semester.

The food pantry is part of the Division of Student Affairs’s Office of Urban and Off-Campus Support Services (U-ACCESS). To learn about the U-ACCESS Program and the food pantry, visit or email

About UMass Boston
Recognized for its innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit

Tags: athletics , beacons , community , food pantry , key for hope , u-access

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Comments (1)

Posted by Sonia Weir | November 15, 2013 - 1:10 p.m.

Great idea. I will look into it as a possible fundraiser for my church’s Community Meals Program.