Our Policy Work

Project Bread understands that hunger can't be solved through stop-gap measures. Instead, our work seeks to provide sustainable, scalable solutions that meet the needs of our community.

See what we're working on

Your voice is your vote.

Our success comes from our engaged supporters. Sign up to receive action alerts to impact change and hunger policy updates to stay informed, including our biweekly news round-up, The Hunger Advocate.

Join the Action Team

Our policy impact

How our policy work is succeeding

Food is our most basic need. We identify policies that create barriers to people using federal nutrition programs or accessing food, and we advocate for new policies to break those barriers down so that everyone in Massachusetts has enough to eat.

Starts Line

Timeline

A history of success

Explore the timeline below to see our how our research and advocacy has led to enduring change across the state to permenantly remove barriers to food access and reduce food insecurity in Massachusetts.

Community Action

1969

The Walk for Hunger

Patrick Hughes led the first Walk for Hunger from the Paulist Center in downtown Boston. An estimated 2,000 people walked 29.6 miles, raising $26,000 to help fund two hunger projects. The first pledge walk in the country, the Walk had two purposes: raise funds to help people experiencing hunger and stand together for social justice and social change that would eventually eliminate hunger. This is still true today and continues to be an annual force for change. 

Old faded photo of a large group of people facing the camera at the first Walk for Hunger in Boston Starts Line

Child Nutrition

1994

Child Nutrition Outreach Program

Conducted the first evidence-based study of hunger among low-income families in the state in 1991 with the MA Department of Public Health and the MA Anti-Hunger Coalition, called the Childhood Community Hunger Identification Project (CCHIP). The findings of this study led to the creation of the Child Nutrition Outreach Program —a parternship between Project Bread and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to support school meal programs and help children access healthy meals during the school year and summers.

a boy smiling, wearing a Summer Eats t-shirt in Worcester at a meal site Starts Line

Child Nutrition

2000

Universal School Breakfast

Project Bread sponsored a study, conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, that proved that children who ate breakfast at school were more likely to do well in math, have fewer absences, and require fewer trips to the school nurse. This work led to the bipartisan adoption Universal Breakfast in low-income schools throughout the state, which provides breakfast free of charge to all students regardless of household income.

Elementary school student eating breakfast in the classroom in Amherst Starts Line

Child Nutrition

2003

Direct certification for free school meals

Piloted a collaboration between state agencies, called the Child Nutrition Access Project, that automatically enrolled children receiving SNAP into the free and reduced-price school meals program, reducing the need for multiple applications. This program is now statewide and enrolls hundreds of thousands of children for free school meals each year.

Students lined up at the lunch counter with their trays getting school lunch Starts Line

Equitable Access

2017

Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)

Teamed up with the MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) to launch the state-wide Healthy Incentives Program, which helps low-income housholds use their SNAP benefits to shop at farmer's markets and local vendors to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Two men purchasing farm-fresh produce from the Stonehill Mobile Market Starts Line

Child Nutrition

2020

Breakfast After the Bell

Project Bread played a critical role in ensuring that the Rise and Shine Coalition’s Breakfast After the Bell legislation was successfully passed. Beginning in school year 2022-2023, all students who attend a school in which 60% or more of their students are eligible for free or reduced price school meals will be required to offer breakfast after the bell to all students.

Starts Line
Previous
    Next