They may be one of your neighbors, someone your child goes to school with, a family member or a friend. In Massachusetts, 1 in 6 households and 1 in 5 households with children are currently experiencing food insecurity. Hunger exists in every community, but it looks different for everyone. Here are just a few people Project Bread’s supporters have made a huge difference for this year.
Alex, an elderly man, called us earlier this year. His voice immediately relaxed knowing he was talking to a human being. Alex told us a story we’ve heard time and time again over the past three years:
“I was an essential employee during the start of the pandemic, I worked at the same company for 16 years, and then they decided I was no longer essential. I had to cash out my 401k to pay my mortgage and bills. Now I am two months in arrears and don’t have any options,” Alex said.
We connected him to SNAP benefits so he can purchase food every month to get through this crisis. Alex was relieved and grateful, knowing that he now had a reliable source of food every month, in addition to the food bank near him for any emergencies.
He told our counselor how he’d never realized how close he was to losing everything. And he’s right – so many families are living just one or two paychecks away from needing the same support. But that doesn’t need to be the case.
We understand that hunger is an injustice. And nutritious, reliable food is the justice we seek for those who experience food insecurity.
Getting nutritious food to your children when school is out can be difficult for working parents. Like so many parents across the country, Tammy doesn’t have the time to practice cooking. She also has a difficult health condition – but when she qualified for our Health Care Partnerships program, we were able to offer her a variety of resources to uplift her and her daughter, Jessica.
We were able to give her extra funds to purchase food and supply her with new cooking equipment. She could now prepare fresh foods for her and her daughter on a new set of pans! And she loved the online cooking classes with our nutrition counselors:
“This program has given me emotional relief & peace. I am less worried about food, and I am very grateful for this program. I am attending the cooking classes because I love them, not only because of [receiving] gift cards. This program has given me life. My daughter and I sit together to eat, and I can see it in her face that she's growing healthy.”
Our work in schools across the Commonwealth has shown us that you can’t tell what a child’s situation is. One of our school partners, Sarah Littmann of Triton Regional School District, put it this way, "A person simply cannot look at a child and know how much money their family makes, or when their last meal was. Or even the last meal that met all of their recommended servings of vitamins and minerals.”
Food security is about the ability to access – and afford – nutritious foods. That’s why we’re so proud to pioneer solutions that break down the barriers that keep people from accessing and enjoying healthy, nutritious, and delicious foods.
Each and every day, somewhere across Massachusetts, families are living out these experiences and more. Our mission at Project Bread is to connect people and communities in Massachusetts to reliable sources of food while advocating for policies that make food more accessible—so that no one goes hungry.
Your donation works to ensure all students in Massachusetts are nourished and ready to learn with free school meals for all. It means families can focus on what matters this season, instead of worrying about how they will pay for groceries. And it prevents hunger from standing in the way of good health.
Here are special ways you can celebrate the season of giving by providing compassionate food assistance to these families through your support of Project Bread: