Get the Facts

The latest data on food insecurity in Massachusetts

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A holistic response

Project Bread is committed to listening and learning from the communities we serve, aiming to reduce bias rather than replicate it.

Understanding food insecurity — who it impacts, how it impacts, and how people access help — is critical to inform equitable policy priorities and our programmatic response.

We recognize and uphold the right of marginalized communities to have the resources they need to break down barriers and inform the best way to meet their own needs.

The Facts

How are food insecure households getting food during the pandemic?

SNAP is by far the biggest support. Roughly 1 in 3 food insecure households with children in Massachusetts are receiving SNAP. School meals are the next biggest support for families, who have turned to free summer and school meal sites to help feed their children and take some of the pressure off their grocery budget.

In close partnership with the MA Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) and Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), Project Bread leads not only SNAP outreach efforts for the state but provides state-wide support for school meals and the summer feeding program, Summer Eats. The two programs providing the most support to food insecure families during the pandemic. 

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102% increase

Massachusetts has experienced the largest relative increase of food-insecure individuals in the nation due to COVID-19. And the highest increase of food-insecure children at 102%, according to analysis by Feeding America.

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17.5% of households

With record unemployment, lost wages, and many having little-to-no savings to protect them from the economic impact of COVID-19, food insecurity has skyrocketed from 8.4% of households pre-pandemic, to 17.5% of households as of November - this is 1 in 6 households in Mass.

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1 in 5 households with children

Children are among the most vulnerable to hunger. As of November, a staggering 21.8% of households with children in them in Massachusetts are food insecure.

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Race and food insecurity

People of color are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity. In October, 1 in 6 white households with children versus 1 in 3 Black households and 1 in 4 Latino/a households were food insecure.

The Facts

For every 1 meal a food bank can provide, SNAP provides 9.

The federal nutrition program, SNAP, is our country’s most effective and efficient response to hunger. Only SNAP has the ability to quickly scale up to meet any size of need. SNAP is proven to reduce food insecurity and lift people out of poverty.

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Food insecurity has lasting consequences

You can give children and families access to healthy food to help them thrive every day.

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