SALEM, Mass—As Massachusetts grapples with the impact and spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Project Bread is prioritizing the health and safety of the community and supporting food insecure households throughout the crisis. Today, the nonprofit announced the cancelation of the 52nd annual Walk for Hunger, which was set for Sunday, May 3rd. Participants would have run, volunteered or walked from the historic Boston Common to raise money for people living without enough to eat. The event will not be re-scheduled. The nonprofit is encouraging individuals to continue to sign up and fundraise for the cause, especially as need grows due to COVID-19.
“While this was a difficult decision, we know this is what’s best for the Walk for Hunger community,” says Erin McAleer, President of Project Bread. “We are also acutely aware that the 1 in 11 households and 1 in 9 children experiencing food insecurity in Massachusetts right now, are disproportionately impacted by the negative consequences of quarantines, unpaid sick leave, lost wages and school closings caused by the coronavirus epidemic. We need to stay focused on our emergency programmatic response to maintain and expand access to food. So now, more than ever, we need the public’s participation to raise funds and ensure residents have enough to eat.”
Project Bread's Walk for Hunger, the oldest pledge walk in the country, puts a spotlight on the complex and undeniable reality of hunger in Massachusetts. Funds raised by the Walk for Hunger support Project Bread’s mission to permanently solve hunger in Massachusetts. Funds will support anti-hunger work including, expanding access to school and summer meals for kids, helping low-income residents afford groceries, and advocating for policy solutions that will have wide-reaching impact to reduce hunger and poverty.
Registration for The Walk for Hunger is open and the nonprofit is actively recruiting individuals to participate virtually. In the past, those who were unable to attend the physical event have participated as Virtual Walkers with great fundraising success. Project Bread supports them in creating personal fundraising pages and providing resources to help with fundraising efforts.
Likeminded community organizations and agencies are encouraged to participate as virtual teams in The Commonwealth program. Sixty percent of all funds raised by these teams will go directly to support their own anti-hunger programs, with the remaining forty percent applied to the statewide anti-hunger effort. This year’s goal is to raise $2 million.
To keep the event inclusive and accessible for all, there is no fundraising minimum required to participate, although a $250 minimum goal is suggested. Participants who raise $500 or more are recognized as Heart & Sole walkers, and receive access to personalized fundraising support, exclusive event gear, and invitations to events. There is no registration fee for virtual walkers.
To register as a "Virtual Walker" for Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger, or to donate, visit projectbread.org/walk or call (617) 723-5000. Project Bread’s FoodSource hotline, which will remain open, is free to all MA residents needing assistance to access and afford food. 800-645-8333.
About Project Bread:
Project Bread is the leading statewide anti-hunger organization in Massachusetts. Beginning in 1969 with the first Walk for Hunger, the nonprofit focuses on driving systemic change to ensure people of all ages have reliable access to healthy food. Project Bread works collaboratively across sectors to create innovative solutions to end hunger and improve lives across the Commonwealth. For more information, visit: www.projectbread.org.
Author(s): Project Bread