Each year, Project Bread releases a status report on hunger in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual report on food security—just released in September—some 9.6 percent of the state's households struggled at some point in 2014 to provide food for their families. That number is down from 10.6 percent in 2013.
And while there is reason to celebrate that improvement, the USDA's survey also found that 4.1 percent of the stat's poorest citizens face "very low food security"—meaning actual hunger, or a frequent lack of access to food. This figure is unchaged from 2013.
On top of this, the 2014 figure can actually be a bit misleading: while 9.6 percent represents that roughly one in ten households experiences worry about whether there will be enough to eat, those people are not evently distributed in our cities and towns. In some communities in MAssachusetts, seven in 10 households are living in poverty. Many of us would think that this statistic could only describe life in states that we consider "poor"—not our Commonwealth.
Ultimately, the state's poverty level lands at just above 8 percent—the same as it was in 2010 accouding to the U.S. Census data resleased in September 2015. So for those who were struggling before and during the Great Recession, there's been no light at the end of the tunnel.