Project Bread anticipates and responds to immediate needs in our communities with emergency and short-term programs — provided with dignity and kindness. We also connect people to local food resources and enable them to participate in their local food economies and the marketplace.
Community solutions are an important resource for the nearly 675,000 people across the state who struggle with food insecurity, including our most vulnerable populations — children, working-poor families, immigrants, the disabled, and seniors.
There are more than 350,000 students eligible for free or reduced price school meals in Massachusetts.
Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline received over 46,000 calls from individuals looking for assistance in 2014.
In 2013, 10.6% of Massachusetts households—nearly 700,000 adults and children—were food insecure.
In 2014, Project Bread invested more than $5 million in community based programs, food pantries, health centers, summer meal programs, elder meal programs, our FoodSource Hotline and more—all to reach the state's most vulnerable populations: children, working poor families, immigrants, and seniors—and to bolster our local food economies.
In 2016, Project Bread became a partner in launching the new SNAP Healthy Incentive Program in Massachusetts.
In 2017, Project Bread has partnered with the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Department of Agricultural Resources, and the Department of Public Health, to launch the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP). Funding for this program is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program.
What is the Healthy Incentives Program?
Spend your SNAP dollars on farm-fresh fruits and vegetables at participating HIP retailers and have the amount of your purchase instantly added back to your EBT card!
HIP is an incentive program designed to improve affordability and access to locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP participants. The program provides low-income families and individuals with the opportunity to benefit from farmers’ markets and other agricultural points of access, by increasing the amount of SNAP benefits available for clients to spend at these locations. By encouraging the purchase and consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables, this sustainable, statewide, incentive program, promotes healthy eating, while also supporting the local economy.
What is Project Bread's role in HIP?
- Educating community partners across the state about HIP.
- Financial support to make the Healthy Incentive match available, made possible by funds raised through the Walk for Hunger.
- Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline (1-800-645-8333) is the statewide information line for SNAP users to learn about HIP and how to access their benefits
- Increase the availability and consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP clients.
- Reduce barriers to participation for SNAP clients and retailers.
- Assess the impact of the new incentive program on participants’ purchase of fruits and vegetables to inform future expansion.
How the Incentive Works
HIP builds on the success of the Pilot, providing a 100% incentive benefit for each SNAP dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables purchased at farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and Community Supported Agriculture programs statewide. The incentive is added directly to the SNAP recipients’ EBT card and can be spent on any future SNAP eligible purchase. Information regarding the account balance can be found on the accompanying receipt, enabling consumers to easily track their HIP benefit. The maximum monthly incentive awarded is based on household size, i.e. 1-2 member households will be capped at $40, 3-5 member households at $60, and households with 6 or more members at $80.
Find a HIP Location Near You
Visit www.mas.gov/hip for a directory, or call Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333, or look for the HIP logo.
In 2014, we invested more than $1.7 million in over 121 communities to help those struggling with food insecurity, and strengthen our local food economies.
Funds raised throughout the year help support over 400 community food programs—soup kitchens, food pantries, food vouchers at health centers, summer meals, subsidized CSA shares, community gardens, double-value farmers market coupons, food service programs, etc.—in over 121 communities across Massachusetts. Food pantries and congregate meals in community centers, religious centers, and other locations provide immediate assistance for those in need.
Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline counselors answer more than 46,000 calls a year from hungry people in Massachusetts.
Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline connects food insecure people with public resources and local help, in order to help them find the right solutions for their needs. The Hotline answered over 46,000 callers from across Massachusetts in 2012, and is the only comprehensive statewide information and referral service in Massachusetts for people facing hunger.
Counselors connect callers to a multitude of available resources in their community, including food pantries, congregate meal sites, school meals, and summer meal sites for kids, elder meal programs, and WIC. When relevant, FoodSource Hotline counselors also connect callers with other resources such as utility and fuel assistance, and MassHealth. Most importantly, our counselors can start SNAP applications for eligible residents right over the phone. Click here to get help.
SNAP (food stamps) is the cornerstone of the nation’s nutrition safety net.
Project Bread is dedicated to removing barriers and increasing access to SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps). The program helps low-income workers stretch their food budget, buy healthy food, stay independent, and maintain their dignity. Through our FoodSource Hotline, Project Bread provides over 46,000 callers a year with information about SNAP and helps them with the application process. GettingSNAP.org—a bilingual resource created by Project Bread—helps 650,000 unique visitors annually determine their eligibility. And SNAP is good for local economies: every SNAP dollar spent generates $1.84 of economic activity.
The Food for Seniors program provides immediate hunger relief through food vouchers.
Good nutrition is essential for older people: it shields them against a range of debilitating conditions. Project Bread provides immediate hunger relief through food vouchers—gift cards that can be used at local grocery stores—as well as help to homebound elders. And we help assure continuous nutrition by assisting them in SNAP enrollment.
We also help seniors take full advantage of the Massachusetts Elderly Nutrition Program, connecting them with resources like congregate meals that help to expand their food budgets. Click here to get help.
Project Bread works to emphasize and ensure that good nutrition is an important facet of personal health care.
Families feel safe and respected when they ask for help at a health center. They can discuss their struggles to make ends meet and their deep concerns about being able to feed their children well and keep them healthy. Project Bread trains clinicians in over 24 health centers statewide to identify people in need, raise awareness about the FoodSource Hotline, provide food vouchers, and connect people to Project Bread’s two full-time SNAP outreach coordinators for application assistance. An astounding 11% of families in Massachusetts’ health centers screened positive for severe food insecurity.
To learn more, download the "Hunger in the Community: Ways Hospitals Can Help" hospital handbook.
We bring local produce into the homes of low-income families with subsidized community supported agriculture.
This innovative program enables people struggling with food insecurity to access healthy food through normal channels, such as through farmers' markets, community gardens, health centers, food co-ops, local stores, etc.—supporting both households and local food economies. In 2013, Project Bread helped 70 families pick up CSAs at health centers, right along with doctors, nurses, and their neighbors—and pay with their SNAP/EBT card—and also receive bilingual nutrition education and recipe cards with their box of produce.
Project Bread's Chef Vanessa teaches two, FREE healthy cooking classes in THE KITCHEN at Boston Public Market every Thursday.
Free Healthy Cooking Classes on a Budget at the Boston Public Market
Chef Vanessa LaBranche is in THE KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market every Thursday creating simple, yet mouth-watering dishes from the bounty of the season—on a budget every family can embrace.
Attendees will learn how to prepare easy, tasty recipes that do not require much time, skill or money to prepare. Classes are FREE, open to all, and accessible by public transporation.
100 Hanover Street at Haymarket Station
class repeats at
Home Cooking Without a Kitchen offers recipes that are budget conscious, kid-friendly, nutritious, and do not require a full kitchen.
In this tough economy, many low-income families have lost their jobs and their housing. Currently, there are over 2,000 homeless families residing in hotel and motel rooms across Massachusetts. Most of these families have access to little more than a microwave and a bathroom sink to prepare healthy meals for their children. In response, Project Bread is making Home Cooking Without a Kitchen, available for homeless families residing in hotels.
This cookbook, available in English and Spanish, includes tips for cooking grains and fresh vegetables in a microwave, a suggested 3-day meal plan, information on microwave safe containers, and recipes that are budget conscious, kid-friendly, nutritious, and do not require a kitchen.
Download to save and print.
Download to save and print
We believe that everyone should have sustainable, reliable access to nutritious, culturally appropriate food. Working together, we actively promote and connect the most vulnerable populations in our state with established and effective anti-hunger programs in our communities.
Project Bread's executive director Ellen Parker was on WGBH’s Greater Boston, sharing her perspectives on ways to end hunger.
Looking for the closest summer meal sites to you? Download our Child Nutrition Outreach Program's new SummerEats App, free!
"Working hard at low wages is like running up the down escalator. The best you can do is stay in place, and you’re always on the edge of slipping back. Today, post recession, more Massachusetts residents than ever—including many households with a least one working adult—are trying to balance in this precarious spot."
"I walk because I want to elevate the voices of the true experts of hunger: the people who experience it. I walk to give them a hand up, not a handout. I walk because the more solutions and approaches we can create, the more people we can reach. I walk because I believe we can end hunger in Massachusetts." - Ellen Parker
Massachusetts will join with other states across the nation in recognizing National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) March 2-6 2015.
Congresswoman Clark and Massachusetts General Hospital visited Revere Summer Food Service Program Site
Join us in our fresh approach as we work to break the cycle of hunger. We’re changing lives, with your support.
Learn how you can get involved with Project Bread's mission and help change lives.
Hunger is silent. So we speak up–on Sunday May 7, 2017, join the annual movement to end hunger in Massachusetts. Money raised by participants supports more than 300 anti-hunger programs that connect people to the healthy food they deserve.
Help us meet the needs of hungry families with your generous gift today.
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