Removing barriers to food access
Food insecurity impacts residents of all ages and backgrounds. For many, getting help can be a challenge — lack of transportation, language barriers, physical mobility limitations, application difficulties, lack of computer access, fear of stigma, simply not knowing where to turn...the list goes on.
To dismantle barriers that persist between households and federal nutrition programs we promote them extensively through multi-channel, multi-language awareness campaigns, and help individuals access them through compassionate direct service.
requested translation services
Callers receive personalized, compassionate help (in 180 languages) from our trained staff, who connect them to every food assistance program that is available and for which they are eligible.
Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline is the only place that people can turn for comprehensive referrals and information in Massachusetts.
17,543 callers received compassionate assistance through our FoodSource Hotline in 2020. 4,562 callers were assisted in a non-English language.
SNAP is at the center of our strategy to providing long-term, sustainable food security to low-income households in Massachusetts. Yes, we screen households to determine if they're eligible for SNAP and help them apply. But we also work to dismantle barriers that persist for those eligible but not enolled, that may contribute to SNAP's underutilization.
Our research and data department analayzes food insecurity trends used by our public policy team to influence and shape legislation to remove barriers to SNAP and increase benefit amounts, helping more people afford food with dignity. In partnership with Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, we train schools, state agencies, and health centers.
Our counselors screened 4,394 households to determine if they were eligible for SNAP in 2020, a 33% increase from 2 years ago.
Two of the biggest barriers to food assistance are simply not knowing what's out there and the fear of stigma for needing help. Through targeted state-wide multi-lingual public awareness and outreach campaigns for SNAP, our FoodSource Hotline, and Summer Eats, we reach out to inform vulnerable communities and potentially eligible households while addressing misinformation and normalizing needing help.
65% increase in calls to our FoodSource Hotline seeking SNAP application assistance in the months our awareness campaigns fro SNAP were active in 2020.
“My spouse and I have a three year old and it was comforting to know when we didn't have any income, that we still had a way to get food and someone to help us understand the programs.”
A family in Worcester, FoodSource Hotline